Lemon Rice – Colorful South Indian vegetarian delicacy


Colorful vegetarian comfort food…

Lately, I have been embracing bright colors. I now dare to wear bright colorful clothes, carry colorful bags, walk on colorful shoes and my latest favorite lipstick color is fuschia. Yes,  I am all about bright colors now. It’s just not me the entire fashion world is talking and wearing color. I always used to be a neutral color loving girl and always fell for beige, cappuccino color, bronze etc and used to frown at red, yellow, orange. Well, I am out of my comfort zone. I now feel color actually makes everyone cheerful and happy, ins’t it? Oh, talking about colors I am reminded of the colorful houses in my hometown. Last time, when I had visited my hometown, I was astonished to see all the houses painted in bright colors including my parent’s house. At first, I couldn’t help laughing at those colors, believe me my parents house now has a parrot green color. I even saw houses painted in pink, fluorescent colors, purple, orange, yellow etc. Looks more like a candy house 🙂

Nevertheless, I’ve always loved to cook colorful dishes. The natural gorgeous colors of many fruits and veggies have always amazed me; the red color of pomegranate, wine red color of beetroot, intense yellow color of lemon, the list is endless. They are just stunners!


Yesterday, I decided to make some colorful vegetarian dishes. One dish that flashed through my mind instantly was lemon rice which has a marvelous yellow color. It’s not the lemon but the turmeric powder that imparts the yellow color to the lemon rice. Also, it’s been ages since I’ve made lemon rice so I felt very enthusiastic about making lemon rice.

Lemon rice is a South Indian vegetarian delicacy, often served for lunch along with pickle and yogurt. It’s a comfort food for many South Indians, the lemon juice imparts a slight tartness to the rice and the seasonings make the rice taste delicious.

lemon rice

Cooking Video

Lemon Rice
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 People
  • Canola oil or vegetable oil or Ghee- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- ½ tbsp
  • Chana dal- 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal- ½ tbsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Green chili, chopped- 1, large
  • Whole dry red chili- 2
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed- ¼ cup
  • Basmati rice, cooked- 3 cups
  • Salt- to taste
  1. Cook basmati rice in a rice cooker along with salt and water. I used 3 cups of cooked basmati rice, you can make more according to your needs.
  2. Have the freshly squeezed lemon juice ready.
  3. Place a large pan over medium heat, add oil or ghee.
  4. Add mustard seeds, let it splutter.
  5. Add chana dal, saute till it turns light golden.
  6. Add urad dal, saute till it turns light golden.
  7. Add curry leaves, whole dry red chili and chopped green chilies, saute for a few seconds.
  8. Lower the heat and add turmeric powder, saute for a couple of seconds, don't burn it.
  9. Immediately, add lemon juice, give it a stir.
  10. Add cooked rice, combine well without any lumps, cook for a minute.
  11. Remove from the heat and keep it covered.
  12. Serve lemon rice with pickle, yogurt or any of your favorite veggie side dish.