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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lemon Rice - Tangy and Spicy

Rice is an integral part of every meal in India and there are many recipes to spice up the rice and make it more interesting. Right from the rich biryani preparations to the every day lemon rice, tamarind rice and tomato rice. These are just a few examples of the vast number of rice dishes that can be found in India. As one travels through India and moves south, one will notice that the prevalance of rice increases.  I really enjoy the tangy preparations of rice like lemon and tamarind rice. It was only after I tasted the lemon rice made by a friend that I realised that if the lemon juice is cooked prior to adding the rice, the end product is significantly better. So thanks to her, I now know how to make this recipe so that the end result has an authentic taste.

1/8 tsp mustard
pinch of hing/asafoetida
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
5-7 curry leaves
2-3 tbsp peanuts
1-2 green chillies to taste, slit lengthwise (if you don't have green chillies, use dried red chillies - this is what I used in this recipe)
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt to taste
1 cup rice, cooked

Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds starts to crackle, add the hing, urad dal, chana dal. Cook the dals till lightly browned and then add the curry leaves, green chillies and peanuts. Stir and cook for a minute and then add the lemon juice. Add a little salt and cook this mixture till the lemon juice starts to boil and then turn off the heat. Add a little lemon mixture to the rice and mix well. Add more as needed till the rice gets the right amount of tanginess. Adjust the salt as needed.

You can cook the lemon mixture and store it in the fridge for upto two weeks, without it getting spoilt. This is a wonderful way to spice up leftover rice and make a quick meal. Add more lemon mix to the rice if you want a sour and tangy taste. Lemon rice is a preparation that will stay fresh for about a day or so without refrigeration and is a common food packed during travel. To cook the rice in the pressure cooker use twice the amount of water compared to the rice and cook for 1 whistle or if using the Instant Pot use the rice mode, or 5 minutes manual, high pressure mode and let the pressure fall naturally.


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