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Lemon Rice Recipe

Do you like the zesty, tangy, and refreshing flavour of lemon? If yes, we have a delicious recipe — lemon rice — to share with you! This South Indian recipe is also known as Chitranna. It takes just 10 minutes to prepare this recipe from the leftover cooked rice at home.

So when you’re in a hurry, have a busy schedule, or need to give a refreshing twist to the plain rice, lemon rice is the best recipe to try!

The best thing about this Indian rice recipe is that you don't need loads of ingredients to prepare it! So whether you're short on ingredients or have plenty of them around, you can make it. Lemon rice is easy to make in both cases.


We have got an easy guide to help you make lemon rice. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn this recipe that takes just a few minutes!

Note:You can use freshly cooked rice as well.

Ingredients you require to make lemon rice:

  • Leftover rice/freshly cooked rice
  • Oil/ghee
  • Black mustard seeds
  • Split urad dal
  • Whole red chilli
  • Chopped ginger
  • Curry leaves
  • Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Introductions to cooking perfect lemon rice:

  • Take a pan and put it on medium-low flame. Now, put some ghee or oil of your choice in the pan.
  • When the oil is heated, add black mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • Now add split urad dal, whole chillies, chopped ginger, and whole curry leaves. Sauté the mixture until it turns fragrant.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric powder to give the mixture a yellowish tint. Sauté the ingredients well.
  • Now, add freshly cooked or leftover rice to the ingredients and mix well.
  • When you start mixing, the colour of the rice will change to yellow. Once the colour is changed, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the rice.
  • Mix the rice gain and get ready to serve it hot!

Expert tips:

  • You can use any non-sticky rice to make lemon rice. It means you can choose long-grained rice such as basmati rice or short-grained rice.
  • Make sure to soak the rice in advance to avoid a sticky texture. It also helps in fast cooking. Soaking also makes the grains look fluffier.
  • If you don’t get time to soak the rice, increase the cooking time. Add more water to the rice while cooking.
  • If you overcook your rice and it becomes lumpy, there is no need to worry. Let the rice cool down completely, and then break the lumps.
  • Leftover cooked rice works great in lemon rice recipes. You can use about 3 to 4 cups of leftover rice for this recipe.
  • When you make lemon rice, spices such as dry red chillies/green chillies and mustard seeds are a must-have. Using urad dal and asafoetida (hing) is optional if these are unavailable.
  • Using curry leaves in the lemon rice imparts a unique aroma. If you don't have them, simply skip them. Finely chopped ginger and coriander leaves give the lemon rice recipe a good flavour.
  • You can also add cashews and peanuts to your lemon rice to give it a texture and crunchiness. Avoid using nuts like walnuts, pecans, and almonds.
Use fresh and ripe lemons or limes.