January 30, 2017

Lemon Rice | Ellumchapazha Saadham | Nimbehannu Chitranna - How to make lemon rice at home (Vegan / GF)

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Lemon Rice is a very flavorful and refreshing flavored rice also called as chitrannam in Tamil and Kannada . Works best on days when we want to make a quick lunch at home or even for office and school lunch box option as well .Makes it perfect for potluck or picnic hampers too .

The juice from fresh lime gives a refreshing and a tangy flavor to the rice making it absolutely appetizing for the taste buds making it apt during the convalescence period after a brief illness of flu or viral fever.  

Lemon Rice is also offered as prasad during Navaratri and also an essential preparation during Aadi Perukku and Kannu Pongal - the 2 most important festivals of Tamil Nadu. 

Lemon Rice/Lemon saadham / Ellumcha pazha saadham pairs well with thick Avial or Morkootu and some fried papads  . When packing it for picnic or lunch box pair it with some pickle or chips . 
Hubby loves lemon rice with paruppu vadai and coconut chutney, this is a popular combo at the street side food carts in Tamil Nadu .

You may also like to try a variant of Lemon Rice with Capsicum which is equally delicious and tasty .

Preparation Time : 10-15 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 2-3


1 cup rice
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dal / bengal gram dhal
1 tsp udad dal
handful of peanuts or cashews 
few no curry leaves
3-4 green chillies
1-2 dry red chillies
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
corriander leaves chopped
pinch of asafoetida  (skip for GF) 
pinch of turmeric
oil for tempering


  • Wash the rice properly and pressure cook with 1.5 cups of water and a few drops of oil.
  • Wait until the pressure is released and fluff the rice using a fork.Do it gently to avoid breaking of the rice grains. Spread this rice on a wide plate or tray for cooling . This step ensures the rice doesn't get mushy and stick to one another in the heat.
  • In a kadai,heat about 2 tbsp oil and fry the peanuts over medium flame until they turn crisp.Keep aside.
  • In the same oil,splutter the mustard seeds,after crackling,add the udad dal,channa dal and fry until golden brown.
  • Next ,add the green chillies,curry leaves,red chillies,asafoetida,lightly fry and turn off the stove.
  • Lastly,add in the turmeric powder and required amount of salt. This is done at the end to prevent the turmeric powder from burning.
  • Spread this tempering,fried peanuts and lime juice over the fluffed rice and mix gently.
  • Adjust salt and lime juice as per your taste.
  • Sprinkle corriander over the rice and serve hot with curd,pickle and appalam/papad.

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  1. Lemon rice is our favourite. A very delicious and quick preparation. Always end up making this whenever I have some left over rice.

  2. There is no way we escape a week without lemon rice. It is one of our favorite recipes and perfect for lunch box.

  3. Give me lemon rice for any meal and I will love my food. Simple n delicious who will not like it. I make it once every 15 days.

  4. lemon rice brings back memories of lunch dabbas for school / college. Used to feature once a week atleast. Amma used to add capsicum (and in season green peas) too to this ! I like this saadham more spicy than tangy :-)

  5. Lemon rice is my go to dish when I am lazy to cook anything. It is tasty and quite commonly prepared in south indian homes.

  6. I love lemon rice. Your looks mouthwatering. Loved your well explained recipe.

  7. What an easy and bright lemon right. Perfect side dish for the summer meals!

  8. Just made some lemon rice for lunch, love it so much. Love the beautiful sunshine colour of your preparation.

  9. Your lemon rice looks delicious. It's not something I have made before so looking forward to trying it out.


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