Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lemon Rice (Nimkaaya Annaa)

Lemon Rice - This is a simple dish which I enjoy a lot. Lemon Rice, Tamarind Rice, Tomato Rice to name a few. Change the seasoning and the vegetable and you have variety of Rice dishes at your disposal. In Bangalore, India, I was amazed at how the road-side and pavements would be dotted with various Darshini's and Sagar's, these are small stand-and-eat restaurants which cater to the mobile and office going population of Bangalore. Best part is a plate full of this rice bowl is a hearty meal to keep going for the entire 9 hour slot of your work timings. Slowly, when I began cooking I enjoyed taking this for my afternoon lunchbox. I used cooked rice from previous day for my Lemon Rice. Since it has less moisture and is more sturdy, it tastes good. Use them at room temperature and you have a lemony, tangy, spice-seasoned rice ready to-go.

Most of the rice dishes originate from Karnataka and are consumed for morning breakfast or as brunch time "Tiffin Meals" or as afternoon lunch dishes. I was surprised when I came to know that the word "Tiffin" originated from the British era. In my home, Tiffin would comprise of Dosa, Idli Fry or simply put any light 1-cup rice dish like Lemon Rice, Tamarind Rice or Puliyogarey. The seasoning used in the case for Lemon Rice is known as Vagraney in Kannada. With a mild change in the seasoning, you could have a different dish of choice with rice, for e.g Tamarind Rice (Pulihora or Puliyogarey), Brinjal Rice (Vaangi Bhaat or Baath), Tomato Rice. Mom used to make this dish when we used to have family picnics and visits which take 4-5 hours of travel. These are a delight to make, take very less time and are great for short distance travels and most important - Office Lunchbox.
Happy Republic Day to all my Indian friends!! My heart lingers in the Republic Day parades, floats and scenic dances, school speeches & skits and umpteen memories we have bundled up together and grown to be proud as an Indian. Today is the day when Indian constitution came into force, erstwhile on January 26, 1950.

Preparation + Cooking time ~ 20 minutes

Basmati Rice (cooked) - 3 cups
Lime Juice - 3 teaspoons
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
White Sesame Seeds (optional) - 1/3rd teaspoon
Peanuts (pre-roasted in microwave or stove for 2-4 minutes) - 1 tablespoon
Chana dal - 1/2 teaspoon
Green Chillies (sliced) - 2
Ginger (minced or grated) - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/3rd teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 3-4 leaves
Red Chilli (optional) - 1
Salt - As per taste
Oil - For frying

Heat 2 teaspoon oil and add mustard seeds in a heated saucepan. Once they begin to pop, add green chillies and allow to sear in oil. Be careful as they splutter, you could injure yourself. Have the flame on low-to-medium. Add Urad dal , Sesame Seeds and Chana dal and stir for few minutes. Add curry leaves as well. Add rice and give a gentle stir. Add Turmeric powder and adjust salt as per taste. Add Peanuts and mix in. Do not stir too much as rice would turn soggy. Best would be to shake the pan with a gentle hand. Simmer on low flame for couple of minutes. Turn off the flame. Pour fresh lime juice and serve warm.


  1. I made lemon rice and curd rice with vogarne on Monday !! You should add ginger too to this .. adds a great flavor ...

  2. @ Nisha,

    Thanks. I added grated Ginger and forgot to add it to the recipe (duh!), made changes now. Thanks for the gentle reminder. Ginger, Turmeric and Peanuts add the much required punch.

  3. Wow...a different version of Lemon rice...will def try this one...

  4. @ Supriya - Thanks. I learnt this from a friend in Bangalore.


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