Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice was one of the many horrors that the Haryanvi cooks at our hostel mess regularly produced in their misguided attempts at South Indian cuisine. It was
so bad that the mere mention of lemon rice would send me stomping out of the mess halls. The rice was yellow, gluey and with no hint of the lemon flavour which gives the dish its name. Luckily in the past few years my relationship with this yellow, mildly tangy rice dish has improved over many servings, at many different tables. There seems to be as many versions as there are cooks, but every one pretty much agrees upon the color (pale yellow from the turmeric) and the presence of some form of nut (peanuts, cashewnuts or both). Here's my version of this dish. The basic recipe came to me by way of Sanjeev Kapoor. But I changed the quantities, added lemon zest to increase the lemony flavour and even threw in a few fistfuls of sprouted moong/mung beans for extra health.

Basmati Rice - 2 cups

Sprouted Whole Moong - 1 cup
Lemon Juice - 3 tbsps
Lemon Zest - from 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Oil/ghee - 2 tbsps
Asafoetida - a pinch
Red chillies - 2, whole (broken)
Split Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Split Chana Dal - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Roasted Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Scraped Coconut - 1 tbsp

1. Cook rice in four cups of water until almost done. Drain and keep aside.

2. Heat oil/ghee in a shallow pan. Add a pinch of asafoetida.
3. Add red chillies, split urad dal, chana dal and fenugreek seeds. Cook till dals change colour to light brown.
4. Add peanuts and mustard seeds. As mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and turmeric powder.
5. Add sprouted moong dal and lemon zest. Stir-fry for a minute and a half .
6. Add cooked rice, salt and lemon juice. Mix well, cover and cook on low heat for about five minutes.
7. Garnish with scraped coconut and serve hot.


HariPriya said...

thnx for sharing the recipe..Have alook at my versions of lemon rice/pulihora/puliyogare.

Sanjana said...

Lemon rice is synonymous with the packed lunch and kattu sadam. Thanksfor rediscovering thiswonderful South Indian rice and sharing it here. Here is Chitvish's version of lemon rice garnished with veggies: