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Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 5, 2014

This home-style rice dish is smoky and sour, and takes less than an hour from start to finish.

To make a complete South Indian meal, serve it with Vegetable Poriyal and Green Mango Pachadi (see related recipes).

Make Ahead: The rice can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Where to Buy: The urad dal, chana dal, hing and curry leaves needed for this recipe are available at Indian and South Asian markets.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes 3 cups

  • 2 cups raw basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons urad dal (black matpe beans; see headnote)
  • 2 teaspoons chana dal (split chickpeas; see headnote)
  • 20 raw cashew pieces (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground hing (asafetida, see headnote)
  • 15 curry leaves, or as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

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Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse under cool water twice, to remove excess starch. Drain.

Bring the water to a boil in a deep pot over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil, then stir in the rice. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes or until tender, stirring a few times. Remove from the heat and immediately drain off any excess water in the pot. Transfer to a large bowl.

Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the mustard seed, which will begin to crackle and pop almost immediately. Add the urad dal and chana dal. Cook undisturbed for a minute or two, until the chana dal turns light brown.

Quickly stir in the cashew pieces, if using, the hing, curry leaves and turmeric, then remove from the heat, continuing to stir until the cashews are lightly browned and the curry leaves begin to dry and curl.

Pour over the cooked rice, taking care to evenly distribute the spices so the rice is colored yellow, then stir in the lemon juice and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Serve warm; or cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Vikram Sunderam, executive chef at Rasika in the District.

Tested by Lavanya Ramanathan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 370

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 14g 22%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 1160mg 48%

Total Carbohydrates: 54g 18%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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