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Lemon Rice (Elumichai Sadam-Nimbu Chawal)

Lemon_Rice_Elumichai_Sadam_Nimbu_Chawal_1 Lemon Rice is a popular rice dish of south India. The unique yellow colour of this rice attracts everyone including children. This can prepared quickly if you have steamed rice already. Some prefer to boil lemon juice and do the seasoning to mix with rice. I add lemon juice in the last without heating it to retain vitamin C of lemon.

Lemon rice is suitable for journey, picnic including lunch boxes. In north India, Haldi Chawal looks like lemon rice but lemon is not used in it.

Lemon is known as Elumichai in Tamil and as Nimbu in Hindi.

Cooking time: 15 minutes approximately


  • Steamed Rice – 4 to 5 cup
  • Lemon – 3 no
  • Green chilli – 3 no
  • Red chilli – 3 no
  • Ginger – 1½ inch long
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tea spoon
  • Peanut – 1 table spoon
  • Mustard – 1 tea spoon
  • Bengal gram – 2 table spoon
  • Urad dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Asafetida – tea spoon
  • Cashew nut – 10 for garnishing (optional)
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Sesame oil/any oil – 2 table spoon

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  • Squeeze, extract lemon juice and add salt in it; fry cashew nuts with little oil and keep it for garnishing; chop ginger, green chilli and curry leaves.
  • Heat a pan with oil; when hot add mustard and let it splutter well; add Bengal gram, urad dal, red chilli, asafetida, peanut and fry for few minutes.

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  • Add chopped ginger, green chilli, curry leaves and turmeric powder; fry all the items till crisp; switch off gas.

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  • Now add cooked rice, mix well; add lemon juice finally; mix, toss well and garnish with cashew nuts.

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  • Serve with any vegetable, papad or chips.



  • Add lemon juice in rice little by little. Mix and taste it to bring it to your taste.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Sushma Mallya March 28, 2010, 10:14 am

    simple and nice rice

  • MaryMoh March 28, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Looks refreshing, healthy and delicious.

  • Priya March 28, 2010, 8:09 pm

    My favourite lunch box menu, just love with potato fry..

  • Vidhya August 12, 2012, 12:52 am

    Hi Aunty,

    We used to bring lemon juice for boiling few min then add the rice. I will try your method and update you. Its my all time favorite dish.

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