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Lemon Rice | Nimbehannu Chitranna

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Lemon Rice is a South Indian flavoured rice with lemon and everyday spices – Gluten Free and Vegan, this is eaten for lunch or a quick snack. Also makes an excellent lunchbox recipe.

AT my place, we are huge fans of lemon rice : give it to me anytime, anywhere, any day.. Mom says she used to cook extra rice over night so she could make this as a quick item for my school lunchbox, and after coming back home I used to ask her to make it again for evening:such is my tryst with this flavoured rice, Lemon rice is NOT lemon+rice.. Its a lot more than that – loads of love and some finely cooked rice. 

The huge advantage is that this can be easily doubled / tripled and can feed a crowd with very little effort. For added fun, you can serve this rice with Roasted potato fry and some crispy crunchy Chawal ke Pakore (leftover rice fritters) . In SouthIndian weddings / special occasions, Chitranna is a must have and is also made usually without onions.

Lemon Rice is a South Indian flavoured rice with lemon and everyday spices - Gluten Free and Vegan, this is eaten for lunch or a quick snack. Also makes an excellent lunchbox recipe.Pin

Nimbehannu in the title refers to Lemon and Chitranna refers to spiced rice in Kannada (a language native to Karnataka state in South India). It is also called Nimmakaya Chitrannam in Telugu, Elumichai Saadham in Tamil.

Each household has minor variations to what they add to this lemon rice. Some prefer it plain with just lemon juice, some add sauteed onions, a few more ad diced bell peppers, sometimes freshly grated coconut is added and sometimes even blanched green peas. Here I share my family’s fav way of eating lemon rice

Lemon Rice is a South Indian flavoured rice with lemon and everyday spices - Gluten Free and Vegan, this is eaten for lunch or a quick snack. Also makes an excellent lunchbox recipe.Pin

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Prep time : 10 mins.Cooking time : 10 mins. Serves : 2

Cuisine – South Indian ;

Lemon Rice is a South Indian flavoured rice with lemon and everyday spices - Gluten Free and Vegan, this is eaten for lunch or a quick snack. Also makes an excellent lunchbox recipe.
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Ingredients needed to make Lemon Rice:

  • 1 cup Cooked rice (cooked and cooled)
  • 2 TBSP Lemon juice (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 TBSP Raw peanuts (opt, skip for nut allergy)
  • 2 Onions (medium, sliced thin).
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Green chillies (slit lengthwise) 
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp split black lentil (urad dal)
  • 1/2 tsp Bengal Gram(channa dal)
  • 1/4 cup Green Peas (fresh / frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Coriander (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp Coconut (opt.)
Lemon Rice is a South Indian flavoured rice with lemon and everyday spices - Gluten Free and Vegan, this is eaten for lunch or a quick snack. Also makes an excellent lunchbox recipe.Pin

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Quick Lemon Rice | Easy Lunchbox recipe

Method to make Lemon Rice:

  1. Spread the cooked rice in a large plate and fluff it up a bit.
  2. You may use small grained rice, basmati is generally not suitable for this.
  3. In a pan, heat oil and prepare the tempering. โ€˜
  4. Once mustard stops spluttering and the dals brown a bit, add the salt, turmeric, peanuts and onions. 
  5. Saute till onions brown slightly. 
  6. Now add the rice, blanched peas and give it a quick stir while on low flame.
  7. Take it off the flame and add in the lemon juice and switch off the flame. 
  8. Add coriander, coconut (if using) and serve hot with wafers and yogurt. 
  9. For me though, just plain lemon rice will do ๐Ÿ™‚
  10. If packing for lunchboxes, cool for 5 mins and then pack with a slice of lemon alongside to pep it up when eaten cool
Lemon Rice is a South Indian flavoured rice with lemon and everyday spices - Gluten Free and Vegan, this is eaten for lunch or a quick snack. Also makes an excellent lunchbox recipe.Pin

Lemon Rice | Nimbehannu Chitranna

Kalyani
Lemon Rice is a South Indian flavoured rice with lemon and everyday spices – Gluten Free and Vegan, this is eaten for lunch or a quick snack. Also makes an excellent lunchbox recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Brunch, Lunch and Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 256 kcal

Equipment

  • Pots and Pans
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Pressure Cooker Optional – Can also use Instant Pot / Open Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Cooked rice cooked and cooled
  • 2 TBSP Lemon Juice adjust to taste
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 TBSP Raw Peanuts opt, skip for nut allergy
  • 2 Onions medium, sliced thin.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Green Chillies slit lengthwise
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Urad dal / Split black gram urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp Bengal Gram channa dal
  • 1/4 cup Green peas fresh / frozen
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Green coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Fresh Grated coconut opt.

Instructions
 

  • Spread the cooked rice in a large plate and fluff it up a bit.
  • You may use small grained rice, basmati is generally not suitable for this.
  • In a pan, heat oil and prepare the tempering. โ€˜
  • Once mustard stops spluttering and the dals brown a bit, add the salt, turmeric, peanuts and onions.
  • Saute till onions brown slightly.
  • Now add the rice, blanched peas and give it a quick stir while on low flame.
  • Take it off the flame and add in the lemon juice and switch off the flame.
  • Add coriander, coconut (if using) and serve hot with wafers and yogurt.
  • For me though, just plain lemon rice will do ๐Ÿ™‚
  • If packing for lunchboxes, cool for 5 mins and then pack with a slice of lemon alongside to pep it up when eaten cool

Video

Quick Lemon Rice | Easy Lunchbox recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 1337mgPotassium: 299mgFiber: 7gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 191IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chitranna, Elumichai Sadam, Festival Recipes, Lemon RIce, Lunchbox Ideas, Nimbehannu Chitranna, Nimmakaya Puliohora, Pulihora
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30 Comments

  1. One of the easiest and perfect for lunch box kalyani.

  2. Very flavourful healthy rice.

  3. My favourite rice.Looks delicious

  4. Priya Suresh

    Our all time favourite,can have simply with fried potatoes..

  5. Lovely pic Kalyani and a favourite rice dish too

  6. Love lemon rice…

  7. thanks for the wonderful tribute, Kalyani – I am single mom this week too with hubby away at Florida so I know how it feel … now add in chauffeur, cleaning maid, errand boy and mom and cook — you get the picture!!! tells you why I am itching to come back to india!!! Hope your daughter's project turned out as well as your lemon rice ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs, 'priya

  8. The easiest and yummiest breakfast idea possible

  9. Aruna Manikandan

    looks perfect and delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Santosh Bangar

    simple tasty one pot meal
    do visit my site

  11. Sensible Vegetarian

    Delicious comfort food and addition of onion sounds very interesting. Got to try your way.

  12. Priya Sreeram

    my fav too ! hope the project went fine

  13. Easiest and yummy rice

  14. my fav rice dish

  15. Very nicely said about Lemon Rice, mostly i also turn my left over rice to Lemon Rice…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Mythreyi
    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  16. I prepare it often for my lunchbox. yes. sometime with leftover rice too.

  17. looks yummy and delicious ………….

  18. Kaveri Venkatesh

    Lemon rice and coconut rice make their appearance in my daughter's lunch box once every week.. An all time family favorite.

    Herbs & Flowers: Spring Onions

  19. This is an easy preparation without compromising on the taste. Looks lovely!

  20. Mmmmmmmmmm love it!!!
    Just like you, 'anytime, anywhere, any day' ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen

    Easy to make Mixed Rice!!!!

  22. My favourite too.

  23. 5 stars
    Lemon rice is definitely a much-appreciated feature in the girls and the girl’s mother’s lunch box. Definitely not lemon and rice. It is comfort food.

  24. Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    5 stars
    Nimbehannu chitranna was always what i ate at the Bengaluru university canteen. I loved theway they made it. Your recipe sounds exactly like that.

  25. 5 stars
    I love lemon rice, but I do not add peanuts to it. Recently I tasted it at my friends’ place and my daughter is crazy for peanuts and loved her lemon rice with peanuts.. I would love to try your recipe for her

  26. Jayashree. T. Rao

    5 stars
    Lemon rice looks delicious. It is one of the quick fix menu which I often end up making at home.

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