Masala Lemon or Lime Rice | Masala Elumichai Saadham | A South Indian Tamil Recipe

A tangy kuzhambu with lime or lemon

Lemon Rice

Masala Lemon Rice is perfect when your body feels under the weather on a wet and cold day – it will spark up your energy levels. Another Meenakshi Ammal recipe, it is a bit of a maze to work out instructions. But this is what I love about Amma’s books. You do need to be a bit of a detective to make sense of them.

In Indian recipes  lemon often refers to our lime. However, I have found that they are reasonably interchangeable: although the tastes will be different depending on whether you use a lemon or lime, the recipes will work with either one.

You might also like to try Urad Dal Garlic Rice, Peppered Rice, or Mango Rice. All our rice recipes are here. There are several ways to cook rice – Absorption method, Steaming or Oven Finished Rice. You can see them all here. Or explore our Indian dishes here. Other Winter recipes can be found here.

Winter Still

On Pappadams

Not usually one to make pappadams very often, I recently fround a Malaysian brand of fresh pappadams, which make the best ones I have ever had. Really, I am becoming addicted to them. (They are also called popadum, pāpaṛ, pappad, papparde, pappadom. pappadum, popadam, pompadum, poppadam. poppadom, appadum, appalum, appala. Confused? Don’t be, it is just another part of the rich and diverse tapestry of India.)

Lemon Rice

Masala Lemon or Lime Rice | Masala Elumichai Sadham

Source : interpreted from Cook and See 1 by Meenakshi Ammal
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamil
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins to cook the rice + time to cool the rice
Serves: 3 – 4 people depending how you are using it.

1.5 cups rice
8 tspns ghee
1 medium brinjal (eggplant) or several of the small variety

the juice of 1 – 2 lemons or large limes (add more to adjust the flavours if necessary)
1.5 tspn salt or to taste
1/4 tspn turmeric powder

1 Tblspn Bengal Gram Dal (channa dal)
1 tspn brown mustard seed
3 – 4 dried red chillies
4 – 5 green chillies, diced
a pinch asafoetida
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
a pinch asafoetida

4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
1/2 tspn poppy seeds
1/2 tspn anise
1 – 2 cm piece of cinnamon stick

Soak the channa dal while preparing the rest, and put the rice on to cook. When the rice is cooked, stir 2 tspn ghee through it, break up any lumps and spread it on a plate or wide bowl — it is Ok if it cools a little.

Dice the eggplant and saute in 2 tspn ghee until cooked. I add a little water towards the end, just a tablespoon, then cover and allow the eggplant to steam until soft.

Squeeze the lemons or limes and strain the juice. (I put them through a cold press juicer) Add the turmeric powder and salt to the juice.

Heat about 3 tspn ghee in a pan and fry the mustard seeds, red chillies and asafoetida and let the mustard seeds pop. Add the green chillies and saute with the spices briefly, then add the drained channa dal. Saute until the dal becomes golden, and then add the spices and ghee to the lemon juice.

Using 1 tspn ghee, saute the masala ingredients and grind these to a powder.

Frying Spices

Now mix the lemon juice mixture with the rice until all the rice is coated and the liquid is absorbed. Add the cooked eggplant and stir through and finally the powdered masala and mix.

You can garnish with chopped chillies or green herbs if you wish.

Serve and enjoy!

browse some of the Rice recipes

2 thoughts on “Masala Lemon or Lime Rice | Masala Elumichai Saadham | A South Indian Tamil Recipe”

  1. Good to know about the lemons/limes! I am cooking up a bunch of Indian food today and tomorrow and I’ve been using lemons for everything. Makes sense why I thought my samosa filling was a little too lemony…

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