Lemon Rice | Chitranna

Posted on by IndiRecipes •

Lemon Rice
Lemon RiceLemon Rice recipeLemon Rice in a bowlLemon Rice in a plateLemon Rice chitrannaChitranna karnataka recipe

Lemon rice/Nimbe hannu Chitranna (Nimbe hannu in Kannada means Lemon) is South Indian specialty rice which is very popular in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It is a simple recipe which is flavored with lemon and seasoned with mustards, dal, groundnuts, ginger, chillies and curry leaves. Lemon rice is often made in South Indian homes, either for breakfast or for lunch. This makes a perfect lunch box recipe too.

Lemon rice can be prepared with freshly cooked rice or with left over rice also. This is an easy, quick and tongue tickling recipe. If you have cooked rice, just give a seasoning of mustards, dal, groundnuts, chillies, ginger, curry leaves and squeeze lemon juice all over the rice. Give a gentle mix and lemon rice is ready to serve.

Lemon rice/Chitranna taste good when served with coconut chutney or pappad/pickle/curd or potato gravy.

You may also like similar rice recipes here; Oralu Chitranna, Masala Chitranna, Puliyogare, Sesame Rice, Mustard Rice, Pepper Rice. 



1 cup Rice/ 2 or 3cups Cooked rice

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1 tsp Channa dal

½ tsp Urad dal

2 tbsp groundnuts

3-4 cashew nuts (opt)

3-4 green chillies, Chopped

2 tsp ginger, Chopped

Few Curry leaves

½ tsp turmeric powder

A pinch Hing

2 lemons,

Coriander leaves, fistful

Gingelly Oil/Any cooking Oil



  • Wash rice 2-3 times and soak it for 10-15 minutes. Boil water in a vessel and add 1tsp oil and pinch salt. Drain water from the soaked rice and add to the boiling water.
  • Cover the pan and cook till the rice is done. Drain water completely from the rice. Spread cooked rice in a plate and let it cool down completely.
  • Heat a kadai and add gingelly oil or any cooking oil. Add mustard seeds, hing and let it splutter.
  • Add channa dal, urad dal, ground nuts and cashew nuts. Fry till dals and nuts turn light brown. Also add chopped ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Fry for some time.
  • Add salt to taste and turmeric powder. Switch off the stove and pour this seasoning on to the cooled rice. Squeeze lemon juice all over the rice.
  • Gently mix the rice making sure that the grains do not break. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with coconut chutney, pickle or pappad.


  • Rice should be cooled before adding the seasoning. Leftover rice is best to make this recipe.
  • You can cook rice in a pressure cooker also. Make sure you do not overcook the rice.
  • Add a tsp of Oil or lemon juice while cooking rice. This makes the rice non-sticky.
  • Add more or less lemon juice as per your taste and preference.
  • You can add onions if you wish, but traditionally, lemon rice is prepared without onions.
  • As a variation, you can even add grated fresh coconut along with coriander leaves.

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