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One of my favourite Indian dishes is lemon rice.

This version is based on a recipe from Mamta’s Kitchen, a wonderful Indian cooking resource managed by my friend Kavey and her husband Pete.  It was a great opportunity to use my new curry leaves, which have now dried crispy…

Here’s my take on Mamta’s recipe:

  • 3 cups cooked rice (cold)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried channa dal
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 1 onion,  chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • juice of 1 lemon (1 – 2 tablespoons, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 dried Kashmiri chilli, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1. Heat the oil until hot in a large non-stick pan.  Add the mustard seeds and fry them until they start to pop.  Be careful not to get your face too close to the pan.

2. Add the channa dal and curry leaves, and stir until the channa just starts to brown.

3. Add the onions and fry until soft.

4. Add the salt, turmeric, chilli and coconut and stir well, then scatter in the rice, breaking up any lumps with your fingers as you go.  Add the lemon juice and then stir well until the rice is warmed through and uniformly yellow in colour.

I sometimes add a handful of peanuts to this dish, and it’s also quite delicious made with lime instead of lemon  juice.  It’s a tasty, easy Sunday lunch, and a great way to use up leftover rice!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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