Lemon rice / chitranna step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Lemon rice, also known as chitranna in Kannada, is a simple flavourful dish where cooked rice is tossed with a simple tempering. It is then finished with a generous serving of lemon juice. It is ready in no time if you have already have cooked rice. As the name suggests, the main flavour of this dish comes from lemon juice.
Chitranna is a widely prepared dish in Karnataka. The seasoning or tempering that is mixed with the leftover rice is called oggarane. Chitranna is usually flavoured with something tangy like lemon/lime juice or raw mango. The most famous forms of chitranna are this one and mavinkayi chitranna (which is made with raw mangoes). I have earlier shared the recipe for mavinkayi chitranna or raw mango rice.
Cooked Basmati rice: Use leftover or completely cooled Basmati rice.
Lemon: As the name suggests, this is the main ingredient of lemon rice.
Peanuts and cashew: They add a great crunch to the dish.
Coconut oil: I prefer to make this dish with coconut oil; however, you can use any cooking oil of your choice.
Spices: I use mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chilli, and turmeric powder.
Curry leaves, green chilli, and ginger: You may adjust the amount of green chilli depending on your preference. Ginger is an optional ingredient.
Coconut and coriander leaves: These are used as garnish.
Step by step instructions
Heat oil and fry peanuts. Once they are done, add cashew and fry. Set them aside (step 1)
In the same pan, add mustard seeds and dry red chilli. Once it splutters, add cumin seeds, urad dal, and chana dal and fry for a few seconds (step 2).
Add hing, and curry leaves. Next, add green chilli and ginger. Saute for a few seconds (steps 3,4,5).
Add turmeric powder and salt (step 6).
Mix well and saute for a few seconds. Reduce the heat to low and add the fried peanuts and cashew (steps 7,8).
Add the cooked rice. Gently mix until the tempering is well coated on the rice. Simmer for 1-2 minutes (steps 9,10).
Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add grated coconut and coriander leaves (steps 11,12).
Tips to make the best lemon rice
This tangy, spicy rice is perfect when you have leftover rice. If you want to prepare it with fresh rice, make sure you cook the rice at least an hour ahead and let it cool completely. Since the rice needs to be tossed in the tempering, it is important that it is cool, else it will break.
Use Basmati rice or any long-grain rice. Basmati rice has a firmer texture because of which it will not break when tossed in the seasoning.
Use coconut oil. While any oil of your choice works well for this dish, use coconut oil to get the authentic-tasting lemon rice.
Lemon rice tastes great as is, but it can be served with papad or these accompaniments. It is great for lunch boxes too. Make this dish with leftover rice for an easy weekday meal and you will not be disappointed.
This lemon rice:
- a great way to use up leftover rice
- ready in less than 15 minutes
- perfect for lunchboxes
Lemon rice / Chitranna
- 3 cup cooked Basmati rice
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ cup peanuts raw
- 2 tablespoon cashew
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1-2 dry red chilli
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon split black gram (urad dal)
- 1 tablespoon Bengal gram (chana dal)
- 5-6 curry leaves
- A small pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1-2 green chilli finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon coconut grated
- A few coriander leaves for garnish
- Heat oil in a pan and add peanuts. Fry on medium flame until the peanuts are crunchy (take care not to burn them)
- Once the peanuts are done, add cashew and fry for a few seconds
- Transfer the peanuts and cashew to a bowl
- In the same pan, add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add cumin seeds, urad dal, and chana dal and fry for a few seconds
- Add hing, curry leaves, green chilli, ginger paste, turmeric powder, and salt. Fry for a few seconds
- Reduce the flame to low and add the fried peanuts and cashew. Add the cooked rice
- Gently mix until the tempering is well coated on the rice. Simmer for 1-2 minutes
- Turn off the flame and add lemon juice, grated coconut, and coriander leaves
- Gently mix it and serve
Click here to watch lemon rice web story.