Lemon Rice

A rice-based dish widely prepared in South India Chitranna (Kannada: ಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ; also known as lemon-rice). It is prepared by mixing cooked rice with a special seasoning called Oggarane or Gojju. The seasoning contains a lot of ingredients such as peanuts, curry leaves, mustard seeds, fried lentils, lemon juice, chillies, unripe mango. Chitranna has yellow colour due to the use of turmeric powder. It is one of the most popular in Karnataka, a Southern state of India and is a part of their staple diet.


There are a lot of different variations in the preparation of Lemon Rice. Some of them are described below:

Nimbehannu Chitranna (Kannada: ನಿಂಬೆಹಣ್ಣು ಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ): This is the most popular version of ‘Lemon Rice’ prepared by mixing cooked rice with lemon juice and turmeric.
Eerulli Chitranna (Kannada: ಈರುಳ್ಳಿ ಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ, Onion Lemon Rice): In this variety, fried onion,  spilt chickpeas, mustard seeds, and green chillies are mixed with cooked rice.
Mavinakayi Chitranna (Kannada: ಮಾವಿನಕಾಯಿ ಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ, Mango Lemon Rice): Boiled and cooked rice is mixed with raw mango paste and turmeric.
Kayi-Sasive Chitranna (Kannada: ಕಾಯಿ-ಸಾಸಿವೆ ಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ, Coconut Lemon Rice) : Cooked rice is mixed with grated coconut and mustard seeds paste.

This recipe is very easy and involves two parts:

  1. Boiling Rice.
  2. Preparing seasoning and adding it to the rice.

The first part of boiling rice is very easy. Take 1 Cup rice and soak it in water for about 15-20 minutes.

After this, you can boil the rice in either an open pan or a pressure cooker.

Instruction for boiling the rice in open pan:

  1. Add 2 cups of water in the pan.
  2. Add the cup of soaked rice in this pan filled with water. Add 1/4 tsp salt.
  3. Boil the rice for about 8-10 minutes, and then drain the excess water(if present).

Instructions for boiling the rice in Pressure cooker:

  1. Add 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker.
  2. Add rice to this cooker, filled with water. Add 1/4 tsp salt.
  3. Close the lid ad cook the rice for about 3-4 whistles. Drain the excess water(if present).


Now for the second part, we need to make a delicious flavourful seasoning.

Instructions for preparation of seasoning:

  1. Take a pan and add 2 tbsp oil in it.
  2. Add peanuts, cashewnuts and udad dal and fry them until golden brown.
  3. Then add mustard seeds, green chillies, curry leaves, and wait till they start crackling.
  4. Add the boiled rice to the mixture. After this add the lemon juice, turmeric, rock salt(optional) and asafoetida.
  5. Mix all these ingredients, cover it with lid and let the flavours blend in.
  6. That’s all. The Lemon Rice is ready to serve.

Lemon Rice

Yummy and tasty South Indian delicacy, Lemon Rice.

  • 1 Cup Uncooked Rice
  • 3-4 Green Chillies
  • 2-3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1-2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2-3 tsp Udad dal
  • 5-6 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts
  • 1 tsp Rock salt
  • 1/4 cup Chopped corainder ((for garnishing))
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  1. For boiling rice:

    Rinse the rice and soak it for atleast 15 minutes.

    Now, drain the water and put the rice either in an open pot or pressure cooker, and add 1/4 tsp of salt and 2 cups of water. Boil the rice for atleast 10 minutes in open pot or for 3-4 whistles in a pressure cooker. 

  2. After the rice has been cooked, take the it out from the pot/cooker and drain the excess water(if present). Keep this rice aside.

  3. For making Lemon Rice:

    Take a small frying pan and keep it on the flame. Add peanuts, udad dal, cashewnuts till they turn slight brown. Now add mustard seeds, curry leaves, green and red chillies and fry for 1-2 minutes.

  4. After the mustard seeds and chillies start crakling, slow down the flame and add the boiled rice to this mixture.

  5. After this, add asafoetida, rock salt, turmeric and lemon juice on this rice mixture and mix the entire preparation properly. Now switch off the flame.

  6. Keep this preparation covered with a lid for atleast 3-5 minutes for all the flavours to blend in. Enjoy this delicious Lemon Rice.