Lemon rice is one of my favorite side dishes when we get Indian food. I love the color, taste and all the extra ingredients that they add to it. Serves 4:
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
- 3 dried red chili peppers
- 6 to 8 fresh curry leaves
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, or cashews
- Juice of 1 lemon, plus more if needed
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Wash the rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear. Soak it for at least 20 minutes. Drain it in a fine-meshed strainer.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the turmeric, rice and salt. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, partially covered, until cooked. Drain the rice thoroughly in a fine meshed strainer and return the rice to the saucepan. Set the pan aside, off the heat, covered
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and, when they start to pop, add the dried red chili peppers, curry leaves and peanuts. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly or until the nuts are lightly browned. This technique is known as tempering.
Pour the contents of the skillet into a mixing bowl. Add the rice, lemon juice and salt; mix well until incorporated. Taste for lemon and salt and adjust according to taste. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy.
This is an easy way to make lemon rice. It’s not quite as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, but with a little work it could come close.
I just make basmati rice my normal way, but add the turmeric to the rice and water. While the rice is sitting for the last 10 minutes, I heat the oil with the mustard seeds etc. When the rice is finished, I pour the oil mixture over the rice and mix it well. You can even make the basmati rice ahead of time, warm it up and then add the oil mixture. This goes really well with the coconut fish curry.