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Authentic Lemon Rice / Nimmakaya Pulihora

South Indian style, traditional festive rice recipe which is Vegan, Plant Based, Gluten free, Quick & Easy to make. Gave both Stove Top / Instant pot pressure cooker, methods with step wise pics.
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Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:5 mins   CookTime:Given Below   Cuisine:Indian

Hey! dear readers! Hope those who have celebrated, had a great Sankranthi / Pongal / Lohri festival (an Indian harvest festival during mid-January). Traditionally, sankranthi festive delicacies would definitely include atleast one recipe using Sesame Seeds / Til / Nuvvulu, as the main ingredient. Using sesame seeds in winters provides the necessary calcium and warmth (vaatha as per ayurveda) to the body. Here is one such recipe posted previously>> Ragi-Nuvvula Laddu / Millet-Sesame Sweet Balls / Bhakri-Til Laddoo 

Assuming you are all doing good! I know, its been a while I made a new blog post, & said a ‘Hello’ to you guys.  I was & am not doing good in health, recently! (of course, nothing related to COVID). My apologies!! 🙏 

Unlike every year, this year I will not be able to share my Sankranthi special thali. As I didn’t make any. Sorry about that too! Was able to make & record just this recipe, for the sake of my kids. Being their favourite traditional Indian recipe.

Speaking about any South Indian household, this lemon rice recipe would be at their finger tips. And even beginners, would just doubtlessly prepare it with eye ball measurements. It’s that common, down in South of India. 

It can be made just within 10 mins if you have pre-cooked rice, and quite handy & versatile for Kids Lunch Box, Traditional Festive Platter, Weekend Meal Platters as well.

But, here my concentration would be primarily on how to make it an authentic way. Read on then!

Other Yellow Rice / Pulihora recipes from my blog:

authentic lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora.South Indian traditional festive, vegan, quick, easy, family dinner in Instant pot pressure cooker.

Important Points for making, ‘Authentic Lemon Rice / Nimmakaya Pulihora’:

  • Either lemons (or) limes work well for this recipe.
  • Be careful while squeezing the juice from lemon, if you squeeze too much towards the peel,there are bright chances of bitterness in the juice.
  • If you think the lemon juice is too sour for your taste, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water, to the  juice might reduce the bitterness / sourness.
  • Peanuts can be replaced with cashew nuts. Or else add both. But, don’t try to add any other nuts. It DOES NOT suit the dish.
  • Among the ‘Ingredients for tempering’, the compulsary ingredients are>>  Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Dry red Chillies, Hing.
  • For best taste, after making the dish, close it with lid for atleast 15-20 mins, so that the liquid is absorbed well by the rice.

Health Benefits of ‘Lemon Rice / Nimmakaya Pulihora’:

Lemons / Limes are a rich source of Vitamin C. And they are always considered under weight loss food category. Improves digestive health and protests against anaemia. (info from internet)

Rice is rich in starch and hence in carbohydrates too. Its GLUTEN FREE and provides fast and active energy. Brown rice is a whole grain, so its highly nutritious than white rice. White rice, has lower arsenic levels as the outer part is removed.

To conclude, this recipe is a Plant Based, Vegan, Gluten free dal / lentil curry recipe that’s rich in protein, fiber & Vitamin-C.

authentic lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora.South Indian traditional festive, vegan, quick, easy, family dinner in Instant pot pressure cooker.

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips mentioned at the end.

Traditional Festive Recipes Collection⇒ Traditional Indian Recipes for Festivals / Panduga Nayivedyalu

Instant Pot recipes collection⇒  Electric Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Recipes

Festive special platters⇒  Vindhu Bhojanam / Festive Lunch

Related Posts:

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Ingredients:

  • Rice – Cooked with 2 cups of rice grains
  • Water – as required
  • Cooking Oil – ¼ cup
  • Salt – 2½ teaspoons
  • Lemon / Lime Juice – ½ cup
  • Tumeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Green Chillies – 6 (slit length wise)
  • Curry Leaves – 10 

Ingredients for Tempering:

  • Urad dal / Minapappu / Split Black gram – 1½ teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds / Aavalu – 1 teaspoon
  • Chana dal / Split Yellow gram dal – 1½ teaspoon
  • Jeera / Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Sesame Seeds / Til – 1 teaspon
  • Dry Red Chillies – 4
  • Hing/Inguva/Asafoetida – ½ teaspoon
  • Ground Nuts / Peanut – 3 tablespoons

Special Ingredients:

  • Hing/Inguva/Asafoetida
  • Fresh Green Chillies
authentic lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora.South Indian traditional festive, vegan, quick, easy, family dinner in Instant pot pressure cooker.
Behind is a Hand painted art, by my elder daughter.

Step Wise Pics Procedure for ‘Authentic Lemon Rice / Nimmakaya Pulihora‘:

PREP WORK (common for both methods):

  • Get the Rice cooked and keep it ready. Here is my detailed post about cooking perfect Basmati rice >> How to cook rice perfectly (Instant Pot, Stove top)
  • If the rice is just cooked, spread it on a plate for at least 5 mins, to make it warm & reduce the wetness. So that the lemon rice wouldn’t turn sticky.
  • If you are using already cooked & cold rice, skip the above step.

STOVE TOP METHOD:

Put a sauce pan / frying pan on stove top under medium flame. Add oil & let it heat. Immeditaley add all the items under ‘Ingredients for tempering’ and turmeric powder. Saute them until the pulses turn light brown.
Into the same pan, add the slit green chillies and curry leaves. Give a stir.
authentic lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora.South Indian traditional festive, vegan, quick, easy, family dinner in Instant pot pressure cooker.
Transfer the cooked rice into the pan, gently mix up everything. Now, switch the stove off, add the salt & lemon juice. Give a thorough mix.
authentic lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora.South Indian traditional festive, vegan, quick, easy, family dinner in Instant pot pressure cooker.
Transfer the lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora, into a serving dish. Done!

INSTANT POT METHOD:

Switch the Gadget ON, set to SAUTE mode, for 5 mins. Add Oil & let it heat. Immediately add all the ‘Ingredients for temering’, saute them by stirring continuously.
Select the CANCEL button, transfer all of the tempering into a separate plate.
Optional step to cook rice: In the same pot, transfer the soaked rice (drain the soaked water) into the pot. Add fresh water (1 rice:1¼ water ratio ) as per measurement. Close the lid, set the VALVE to SEALING, mode to PRESSURE COOK, under LOW PRESSURE for 5 mins.
Later release the pressure naturally only (NPR). Transfer all the ‘tempering’ into the pot. Into the Instant pot add>>> the turmeric powder, salt, lemon juice and remaining slit green chillies, curry leaves. If you are using already cooked cold rice, continue with SAUTE mode until the rice warms up.
authentic lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora.South Indian traditional festive, vegan, quick, easy, family dinner in Instant pot pressure cooker.
Gently mix up everything. Switch the gadget OFF. Transfer into a serving dish. Done!!

Tips:

  • This is a purely NO ONION, NO GARLIC, NO GINGER recipe. Please, Do not try to add.
  • You can use any type of non-flavoured rice for this recipe,i.e.flavoured rice like Basmati is not much suitable. I used Sona Masoori rice.
  • For Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Method: I do not prefer doing the tempering and cooking the rice along with the tempering. It would make the tempering soft, where it is expected to be nutty & crunchy. That’s the reason, I prefer to take the tempering aside, cook the rice and then add in the tempering again.
  • Take care that the cooked rice is too NOT sticky.
  • The heart of this recipe lies in the tempering. So be careful, not to burn it.
  • I always prefer to add, few fresh slit green chillies at the end, just before mixing, for that extra spicy effect. It’s just an optional step.
  • Adjust the salt, spice and sour according to your taste.
  • It stays good even for 2 days at room temperature.

Result:

  • The aroma of pulihora / lemon rice lies predominantly in the tempering. Which decides if the recipe is a win or not.
  • Authentic Lemon Rice / Nimmakaya Pulihora tastes best when eaten on its own without any side / condiment.
  • But, can be served with chilled curd/yogurt and with any chutney/dip on the side. 
authentic lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora.South Indian traditional festive, vegan, quick, easy, family dinner in Instant pot pressure cooker.

Authentic Lemon Rice / Nimmakaya Pulihora

VegCookBook by Praveena
South Indian style, traditional festive rice recipe which is Vegan, Plant Based, Gluten free, Quick & Easy to make. Made easily on Stove Top / in an Instant pot pressure cooker.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Sauce Pan / Vessel (for stove-top method)
  • Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker (for IP method)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Rice (Cooked with 2 cups of rice grains)
  • as required Water
  • ¼ cup Cooking Oil
  • teaspoons Salt (or as per taste)
  • ¼ cup Lemon / Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric Powder
  • 6 count Fresh Green Chillies (slit length wise)
  • 10 count Curry Leaves

Ingredients for Tempering:

  • teaspoon Urad dal / Minapappu / Split Black gram
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds / Aavalu
  • teaspoon Chana dal / Split Yellow gram dal
  • ½ teaspoon Jeera / Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds / Til
  • 4 count Dry Red Chillies
  • ½ teaspoon Hing / Inguva / Asafoetida
  • 3 tablespoons Ground Nuts / Peanuts / Palli

Instructions
 

PREP WORK:

  • Get the Rice cooked and keep it ready. Here is my detailed post about cooking perfect Basmati rice >> How to cook rice perfectly (Instant Pot, Stove top)
    If the rice is just cooked, spread it on a plate for at least 5 mins, to make it warm & reduce the wetness.
    So that the lemon rice wouldn’t turn sticky.If you are using already cooked & cold rice, skip the above step.

STOVE TOP METHOD:

  • Put a sauce pan / frying pan on stove top under medium flame.
    Add oil & let it heat.
    Immeditaley add all the items under 'Ingredients for tempering' and turmeric powder.
    Saute them until the pulses turn light brown.
  • Into the same pan, add the slit green chillies and curry leaves. Give a stir.
  • Transfer the cooked rice into the pan, gently mix up everything.
    Now, switch the stove off, add the salt & lemon juice. Give a thorough mix.
  • Transfer the lemon rice / nimmakaya pulihora, into a serving dish. Done!

INSTANT POT METHOD:

  • Switch the Gadget ON, set to SAUTE mode, for 5 mins.
    Add Oil & let it heat.
    Immediately add all the 'Ingredients for temering', saute them by stirring continuously.
  • Select the CANCEL button, transfer all of the tempering into a separate plate.
  • Optional step to cook rice: In the same pot, transfer the soaked rice (drain the soaked water) into the pot. Add fresh water (1 rice:1¼ water ratio) as per measurement.
    Close the lid, set the VALVE to SEALING, mode to PRESSURE COOK, under LOW PRESSURE for 5 mins.
  • Later release the pressure naturally only (NPR). Transfer all the 'tempering' into the pot.
    Into the Instant pot add>>> the turmeric powder, salt, lemon juice and remaining slit green chillies, curry leaves.
    If you are using already cooked cold rice, continue with SAUTE mode until the rice warms up.
  • Gently mix up everything. Switch the gadget OFF. Transfer into a serving dish. Done!!

Notes

Please see the MAIN POST for step wise PICS & TIPS!
Keyword how to make rice recipe with lemon flavour, lemon rice in instant pot pressure cooker, lemon rice recipe, south indian style lemon rice recipe

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