Lemon Rice (Chitraanna)


Lemon rice is a simple & tasty dish, it is easily digested and suitable for all constitutions.   It can be used daily and throughout all seasons.

Lemon Rice (Chitraanna)

Serves 3 – 4

Use heaped measurements except when stated otherwise.

Ingredients :4V7A4788_1980x1297

1 cup white rice

3 cups water

¼ cup peanut/melted coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp split bengal gram (channa dāl)

1 tsp split urad dāl (black gram)

1 medium, mild dried red chilli

10 raw cashew nuts

1 tsp cumin seeds

10 curry leaves

⅛  tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

⅛  tsp turmeric powder

1 medium carrot (1 cup grated)

2 tsp grated ginger

½ cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar/jaggery

1 -2 Tblsp lemon juice

¼ cup chopped coriander leaves

Preparation :

In a heavy based saucepan, wash the rice in several changes of water until the water runs off clear then drain.

Pour in the water and bring to boil over a medium – high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.  Do not cover the pot with a lid, as this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.  Simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, or until water has almost completely evaporated.  Turn off the heat, cover and set aside to cool.


While waiting for the rice to cool, halve the 10 cashews, grate the ginger measuring 2 full tsp and cut the chilli into 3 – 4 pieces.  Using a box grater, grate the carrot – measuring 1 cup.  Rinse and chop the fresh coriander measuring ¼ cup . Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, add ¼ cup oil and ½ tsp mustard seeds; when the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add 2 tsp bengal gram, 1 tsp urad dāl, and fry for a few seconds, then add the chilli, cashews, and 1 tsp cumin seeds.  Fry until bengal gram is golden in colour (depending on the skillet/pot you are using, you may need to lower the heat while frying).  


Add the curry leaves, ⅛  tsp asafoetida and ⅛  tsp turmeric powder, and continue to fry for a few seconds.  Stir in the grated carrot, ginger, ½ cup dried coconut, 1 tsp salt,1 tsp jaggery and 1-2 Tblsp lemon juice, cook for approximately 6 minutes, until all ingredients have properly combined and the carrot is soft.  Turn off the heat.


Add the cooked rice (make sure it has cooled first) and combine the rice with the grated carrot & spices.  Stir in the fresh coriander.  Using the right palm of the hand, gently combine, to ensure the rice is mixed well with the spices.

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Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, sugar/jaggery or lemon.  Serve immediately.  Lemon rice can be served with raytha, or accompanied with a vegetable palya.


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