Go Back

Authentic Lemon Rice / Nimmakaya Pulihora (Stove Top, Instant Pot)

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


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


  • 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


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.


  • 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!


  • 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!!


Please see the MAIN POST for recipe with 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