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Flavorful lemon rice served on a wooden plate with a spoon.

Easy Lemon Rice (Yellow Rice)

A really simple lemon rice recipe - it's flavored with lime juice and zest so that the rice really packs a punch and is full of flavor. Made all in one pot from start to finish, this yellow rice is easy to put together and is excellent with raita on the side.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: breakfast, chitranna, cilantro rice, lemon rice, lime zest, side dish, south indian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Portions
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Richa


  • 1 cup Long grain Rice
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Green Chilli finely chopped (or Serrano Peppers)
  • 8-10 Cashew nuts or Groundnuts
  • 6-8 Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Lime Zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Lime Juice
  • Chopped Coriander for topping


  • Rinse the rice a few times with water and soak it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a pot and add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, reduce the flame and add green chillies, cashew nuts and curry leaves. Slow roast the cashews till they are golden brown.
  • Drain the rice and add it to the pan. Dry roast it for a minute or two and add turmeric powder, lime zest, salt and two cups water. Mix well and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a roaring boil, reduce it to a simmer; cover and cook for 6-7 minutes or till the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
  • Mix in the lime juice and coriander and serve hot.


  1. Soaking Rice: Soaking rice for 20 to 30 minutes helps the rice absorb water, and helps it cook faster. If you don't soak the rice before cooking, the cook time will increase and you will need to cook the rice for 12-15 minutes.
  2. Type of Rice: Long grain rice or basmati rice cooks really fast once its soaked. Other varieties of rice like short grain rice or brown rice will have different cooking times.
  3. Traditional Lemon Rice: Traditional lemon rice is made by slow roasting two lentils - urad dal and chana dal along with cashew nuts (or groundnuts) in the beginning. This adds a delicious crunch and texture to the rice. I have omitted it in this recipe, but if you like, you can add one teaspoon of each dal.
  4. Lime Zest: To zest a lime, take a grater and grate just the outer skin of the lime. Do not grate the next layer which is white in color and more bitter.


Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 477mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg