Lemon rice, also known as Chitranna, is a popular South Indian flavorful rice dish. It is prepared by mixing cooked rice along with spices and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Follow this post of the detailed chitranna recipe.
Nostalgia & Memories of Lemon Rice
My first introduction with this exotic rice dish happened when I was staying in Chennai college hostel. In our hostel, menus were fixed according to the days of the week and every Thursday night we had two rice options Lemon rice and coconut rice. I used to prefer lemon rice over coconut rice. But as you know the hostel foods are not good in quality so I used to like it but not love it as the taste was never consistent with all flavors.
After I left hostel I never had lemon rice until I came down to Bangalore after marriage. At that point of time it was always difficult to decide what to cook for meal which is quick and easy. Because back then I was not so enthusiastic to cook elaborate meals and on top of that, I had to leave early for office. Hence, I always used to look for quick meals. Even now I try quick and easy recipes and my love for quick meal is not new to my readers.
One day my husband said "why don't you prepare lemon rice and tomato rice? We can have it as breakfast as well as pack for our lunchbox too." He also mentioned his love for these flavorful rice varieties. Then I remembered this delicacy and was looking for recipe in the internet (No, I was not a food blogger then). Since then I started preparing Lemon Rice and whenever I am in hurry this recipe always saves me.
Can I use store-bought Lemon Rice Spice mix?
Initially, I tried lemon rice with store-bought spice pack but did not like the taste. Then I slowly started experimenting and finally I could fine-tune it according to our taste buds. Since then, lemon rice is in our meal menu and now our daughter likes it too. So I would recommend you to make the lemon rice from scratch. This is a fail-proof recipe, you can follow this recipe to make delicious lemon rice.
Lemon Rice: A Quick and Easy Lunchbox Recipe
Chitranna is one of the easiest recipes I have ever tried. It is a great one pot meal which saves you when you are running short of time. When you get up late and need to attend a meeting at first half, lemon rice is one of the quickest recipes to save you, especially if you already have cooked rice in your refrigerator. In fact, it's a great meal option for a lazy weekend.
Can I use leftover rice to prepare Lemon Rice?
Yes. You can definitely use leftover rice to prepare lemon rice. It is a very good recipe to use up the leftover rice. Whenever we have guests at home and we end up cooking extra rice. Lemon rice is the best way to use up your cooked rice.
Interestingly, you can cook rice on previous day which can make your job easier for next morning. Cook the rice on previous day, allow it to cool, keep it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Next morning you can just follow the remaining steps to cook the lemon rice.
Which rice can I use to prepare Lemon Rice?
You can cook lemon rice with any varieties of raw rice however, I prefer to cook it with long grained basmati rice. Either you can cook rice and prepare it fresh or use leftover rice to give it a makeover.
How to serve Lemon Rice?
Usually, lemon rice does not need any accompaniment. However, you can serve it with papad (appalam), plain curd, raita, pickle and chutney. Some people also love to have with some khara boondi, vada or other fried items.
Can I use any alternative ingredient for peanuts?
Sometimes when I run out of peanuts I use cashew nuts. Addition of any nuts gives nutty flavor to the lemon rice and makes it more exotic.
Some more Rice recipes
Lemon Rice | Chitranna Recipe
- 2 cups Cooked/Leftover Rice
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 medium Onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Urad Dal
- ½ teaspoon Split Gram Dal
- ⅔ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 8-10 nos Curry Leaves
- 1 or 2 no Dry Red Chilli
- 1 teaspoon Green Chilli, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon Refined Oil
- Fry the peanuts in oil till the raw smell disappears and turn light brown in color. Keep them aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves, dry red chilli, mustard seeds, urad dal and split gram dal.
- Once they start crackling, add chopped green chilli and sliced onion. Cook until the onions turned translucent.
- Next add turmeric powder and mix well.
- Now add cooked rice and mix them well.
- Next goes fried peanuts and salt as per taste.
- Finally add lemon juice and give a good stir and turn off the gas. Lemon rice is ready to serve.
- You can also add chopped coriander leaves before serving it.
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Delicious and flavorful chitranna. I oils love to have it anytime with sandige and fried curd chillies.
Super duper kitchen
Lemon rice is one of the recipes that we make at home at least twice in a month. Easy to carry for lunch and during travel. I love to have with lemon pickle.
Beautiful yellow color of lemon rice. Love the tangy taste with the crunch of peanuts, one of the best ways to use leftover rice.. loved this detailed post..
Hem lata srivastava
Lemon rice looks super tempting .
Dana dana khila hua. Perfect for lunch love it
South Indians call it as Chitranna and often prepared at home. It is ideal for lunch, dinner or lunch box. Your bowl looks delicious.
I love lemon rice. Tastes so good even when its cold. An easy to carry rice dish for travel or for lunch box. I too prefer making it with basmati rice.
Looks delightful and I love all the wonderful spices that you have added to the rice.
One of my all time favs to prepare lunch for hubby 🙂
Colourful tangy rice,s I love them a lot
yummy lovely rice
Made a similar dish before and I love it, because I can't let go of sour flavor. Next time, your version is gonna be replicated.
Simple yummy rice
Simple and tasty lemon rice!
Simple, easy dish and loved by all age groups..
Tangy rice with simple ingredients...