Recipe courtesy of Anjum Anand

Lemon Rice

This South Indian dish goes well with seafood and vegetables. Curry leaves are used frequently in this part of India. When you find a fresh bunch, put them to dry on a towel on top of the boiler, then place them in an airtight jar to use as needed.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

Pinch fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon split chana dal (also called Bengal gram lentils)

1 teaspoon split black gram (also called urad dal or black lentil)

4 tablespoons roasted peanuts, out of their shells

2 to 3 dried red chiles, left whole

10 curry leaves,* torn in half

1 rounded teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Kosher salt

3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

12 ounces freshly cooked basmati rice


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, chana dal, black gram, and the chiles, and stir-fry until lightly browned. 
  2. Add the peanuts, chiles, curry leaves, ginger, ground turmeric, and salt, to taste, and cook for about 40 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice, and cook for another minute before adding the cooked rice. Stir-fry the ingredients to heat through, being careful not to break up the rice grains too much. 
  3. To serve the rice, divide the mixture between warm serving plates.

Cook’s Note

*Can be found in specialty Asian markets