Lemon Rice | Chitraanna

Lemon rice or Chitraanna is a common one-pot meal found in South Indian homes. I was introduced to lemon rice by my South Indian friends who used to get it regularly to office. We always share lunch with each other and taste each other’s food. I found lemon rice very easy to cook as one can eat it as it is without mixing it with dal or sambar.
These days my daughter wants lemon rice in her lunch box. She tasted it from her friend’s lunch box and since then she loves to take it to school. I am more than happy to cook it as it does not require much effort. You can serve it with raita, pickle or papad. My little one loves to have it with Gujarati sweet lemon pickle. Hubby prefers to have garam garam pakodas with this.
Today’s recipe is a simple lemon rice which I learnt from colleagues. I used to prepare it and pack it for lunch at office and my colleagues kept giving improvement comments till it was perfect. Addition of chopped onion is optional and you may omit it to make it pure veg. You can also try the other type of recipe where I add moong dal powder.

A close friend “A” gave me some great tips for consuming lemon rice:
1) Never eat lemon rice at night as many people get heartburn due to its acidic nature. Traditional South Indian homes never cook lemon rice at night.
2) Always add lemon juice after switching off the gas, else the lemon rice will turn bitter in taste.

Ingredients:                                          Prep. Time: 30 Min’s, Serves: 2
1 cup rice
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal/black gram dal
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds/methi seeds
7-10 curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida
1 green chili
2 dry red chilies
Handful of peanuts
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lemon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
Boil rice by pressure cooker or by the traditional method of boiling water and then adding rice to it or cook it by rice cooker.
I cooked rice by rice cooker.
Roast peanuts in a kadai. Simply, heat the kadai and roast peanuts without adding oil. Remove the roasted peanuts and keep aside.
In the same kadai, add mustard seeds and when they flutter, add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and urad dal.
Add curry leaves, dry red chilies, green chili and roasted peanuts. Mix well.
Add chopped onion and sauté till onions turn pinkish.
Add turmeric powder and stir well. Add salt. I added 1/2 tsp salt.
Add rice and mix well. Switch of the gas.
Add lemon juice extracted from 1 lemon or add 2 tbsp. lemon juice.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Note: Addition of chopped onions is optional.
You may add grated carrots to make it healthier.
Add roasted cashewnuts along with peanuts. I did not add cashewnuts as the kid does not like them when added to rice.
Always add lemon juice after switching off the gas, else the lemon rice will turn bitter in taste.
Try out more rice varieties from here.

‘The entry is for The Urban Spice Sweet September Giveaway.’

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