Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Lemon Rice : Am officially a Rice Lover now :D

Yeah I know, you guys wont even read this part thinking it to be my old rant about me being a transformed person from being a Rice "disliker" ( hater is too strong  a word ) to rice lover now. No, I am not going to bore you with the same old story again but this is the moment where I would like to officially announce that I love experimenting with rice dishes now. I have tried many different recipes in the past 4-5 months which I never had before like Schezwan  Rice, Tawa Pulao, Coconut Rice etc.. And all of them are my favorite now. Believe it or not, I actually look for excuses to make rice now, when I really did not like to cook it even once a week. 

I had Lemon rice first time ( yes, in my entire life ) when I visited Preeti from "Icing Cakes" during our initial meetings about Bloggers Buzz last year. She had prepared a variety of food for me and Nisha, which we happily licked off through the plates and even serving bowls. This Gulkand Shreekhand is also inspired by her creation, she is one brilliant Marathi Cook who inspires me with her active lifestyle and balanced perspective towards life. So she prepared this rice that day and I fell in love with it since then. I didnt remember the exact recipe but I have tried to prepare it keeping in mind the flavors of her recipe. I shall be lucky if I even come closer to her excellent hand in cooking. 

I have seen many different recipes for this dish, most of them uses the leftover rice to turn into Lemon Rice. But here I have prepared them fresh along with all the flavours from the very beginning. I seldom use the other method too, i.e. churning the leftover rice to this classic South Indian staple, but then I really prefer the fresh version. If you also do this by leftovers, I am sure you will be intrigued to taste the difference. 

This dish is as elegant as you want it to be and kept as simple as the need arises.  I love recipes which can be dressed up on short notice but otherwise need only minutes to put together. This time I had it with Shahi Paneer, and it really goes well with Jeera aalu or any other sort of roasted potatoes, as I have heard from my South Indian friends. 

People often recommend to use the Basmati Rice for this specialty but I find that Sona Masuri Rice works as good as its rival Basmati. If you are not aware of what Sona Masuri Rice is, visit  this website here, here and here for more info. I have only learnt about it after coming here and since then I rarely use Basmati, mainly only for Parties etc. 

What you need?

  • 2 cups Rice ( Basmati or Sona Masuri ) 
  • Juice of 1 large lemon ( almost 2 tbsp) 
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 3-5 dried red chillies
  • Handful of Curry leaves 
  • 2 tbsp Dry roasted peanuts 
  • 2 tbsp of Sesame Oil ( it works best, but any other oil can be used )
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal (split black gram) 
  • A pinch of Asafoetida ( heeng) 

How to make?

Wash and soak Rice in warm water for half an hour, drain and keep aside. 
Heat Sesame oil in a Pan, splutter Mustard seeds. When it starts popping, add the lentils, Peanuts red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Fry for almost a minute on low flame. 
Now add the drained rice and stir it for 30-40 seconds keeping flame low, this will ensure rice keeps separate and grainy

Add 2 1/2 cups of water and lemon juice and cook covered on medium flame for 15-20 minutes. Dont stir in between, just fluff with fork once or twice if necessary to mix. 
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with Dal or Paneer or any Potato Subzi of your choice. 

My Notes:
You may skip peanuts, lentils or asafoetida as per your liking
I have seen one of my friend adds grated ginger in this and that turns out well and distinctive too, you may try that
Of course you can make it with leftover plain boiled rice too, keeping the Tadka same and adding lemon juice at the end after adding rice and mixing well. 
Preeti suggested me to add a tsp of lemon juice whenever I cook any form of rice, and I have seen following this always leads in fluffy rice. 
If you dont have time to soak rice, I would suggest the cheats way of soaking rice in hot water for 5 minutes and then wash it several times to take the starch away. I usually keep it microwave for 2 minutes and then wash 4-5 times 

Linked to the events - 
South Indian cooking started by Anu's healthy kitchen and hosted by Nivedhanams. 


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