When I was a kid, my mother used to say ” If I make plain rice and curry, you say you don’t like rice but if I make chitranna or pulao, rice becomes your favourite!”. The same is with my kids now. They love variety rice more than plain one and this lemon rice is their favourite.
My 5 year old loves her lemon rice with lemon pickle (yes , a sour lover she is) while my 1.5 year old loves lemon rice with curd.
Since we have plenty of mint growing in our backyard, I add them too for some extra flavour and health benefit.
4 Cups cooked white rice (leftover rice will also do)
10 to 12 mint leaves/ pudina
3 green chillies
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder/ Haldi
Juice of a half a lemon/ one full lemon of using Indian variety
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds/ Jeera
1 tsp Urad dal
1 Tbsp Peanuts
A pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida
A sprig of curry leaves
Step by step recipe:
1. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, peanuts and hing.
2. When mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and green chillies. Fry for few seconds.
3. Now add mint leaves along with turmeric powder and fry for few more seconds.
4. Now add the cooked rice along with salt to the pan and mix thoroughly. If adding freshly made rice, allow the rice to cool down completely before you add to the pan else the rice will not hold shape and will mash down.
5. Finally add lemon juice after switching off the flame and mix well.
* You can skip mint leaves if not available and make normal lemon chitranna.
* A garnish with freshly grated coconut can also be added for a wonderful flavour.
* If you don’t have leftover rice and don’t have the time to make rice, allow it to cool and mix, you can cook the rice in the seasoning itself like how you cook pulao. I do that during rush days and it turns out great too. Instead of cooked rice, add raw rice and enough water. Cook rice till done. Add lemon juice at the end.