Lemon rice pairs very well with Indian, middle-eastern or Greek entrees. I like to serve it with grilled chicken and vegetables, or with Lamb Chops, Salmon Tikki, Chicken Kebab etc. Pair it with a side of grilled or oven-roasted vegetables and you have a perfectly balanced meal in under 30 minutes.
Variations of Lemon Rice
I like to make this recipe with long grain Basmati Rice, but this can work with Jasmine Rice as well. This recipe is traditionally made with split black gram lentils (urad), but sometimes, I skip that and add chopped cashews or almonds instead and it turns out great.
I usually make Lemon rice in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot 6 Qt, but this dish can be made on the stove-top too. To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.
Rinse rice 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. Heat a sauce pot on medium-high heat. Wait till it’s hot, and add ghee/butter or oil. Add mustard seeds and split black gram lentils (urad). When the mustard seeds splutter, add green chilis, drained rice and spices. Add fried onions (optional). Saute for 1 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat, open lid, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add fresh lemon juice and mix well. That’s it!
Lemon Rice in Instant Pot / Pressure CookerPrint Recipe
- 1 teaspoon ghee/ butter, olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown Mustard Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Urad Dal Split (split black gram lentils), rinsed and dried
- 3-4 whole green chillies, tops off (this way they release aroma, not spice)
- 1 cup Basmati Rice, rinsed 2-3 times
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/4 cup Fried Onions (optional)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoon water (this ratio works better for me than 1:1)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (add after cooking)
Rinse basmati rice 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. Turn Instant Pot on SAUTE mode (high). Wait till it reads "hot", and add ghee, mustard seeds and split black gram lentils.
When the mustard seeds splutter, add green chilies, drained rice and spices. Add fried onions (optional). Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add water, stir and close the lid. Set Manual/Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Vent at Sealing position.
Manually release pressure after 5 minutes (NPR 5). Open lid after pin has dropped and pot is completely depressurized. Fluff the rice with a fork. Squeeze juice of 1/2 a lemon and mix well.