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Lemon Rice Recipe

Updated: May 23, 2021

Chitranna also known as lemon-rice is a widely prepared dish in South India. It is made by mixing cooked rice with a special seasoning called Oggarane or Gojju. Characteristic for the seasoning are mustard seeds, fried lentils, peanuts, curry leaves, chillies, lemon juice and other optional items such as scrapes of unripe mango. Added turmeric powder gives Chitranna its yellow color. Usually served with curd it has become one of our favourite go to lunches these days (okay between us majorly because it’s so darn easy to make).


Serves 4

1 cup basmati rice

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon turmeric powder - Shop Here

For Seasoning/Oggarane

1 cup fresh grated coconut

2 tbsp Coconut oil

½ cup raw unsalted roasted peanuts

1 teaspoon chana dal (soak in warm water for 20 minutes so that it softens up)

1 tsp. black mustard seeds

2 dried red chilli

14-15 fresh curry leaves (we love the flavour but you can suit your liking)

Juice of 1 whole lemon


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

  2. Bring the water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add the salt and then stir in the rice. Cook uncovered until tender, stirring a few times. Remove from the heat and immediately drain off any excess water in the pot. Transfer to a large pan and let the rice cool.

  3. Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the raw peanuts, and cook, stirring, until golden brown. Once roasted remove from heat and transfer to a plate and allow it to cool.

  4. Add 2 tbsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds, which will begin to crackle and pop almost immediately. Add the chana dal and cook for a minute or two, until the chana dal turns light brown.

  5. Quickly add in the curry leaves and turmeric and stir for about 20-25 seconds until the curry leaves begin to dry and curl.

  6. Place the cooked rice on medium heat and pour the seasoning that we just made on the rice, mixing enough to evenly distribute the spices so the rice is colored yellow.

  7. Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze juice from lemon into.

  8. Add the roasted peanuts and grated coconut to the rice. Savour the delicious chitranna you just made with so much love. Serve with curd and we promise you’re gonna love it.

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