I love Indian food but rarely cook it at home – mainly because a lot of the time Indian recipes requires a large variety of spices which I usually do not have on hand. Thereby requiring me to venture out to an Indian store (not that easy to find) and invest in these various ingredients. Luckily, this past weekend while I was home I stopped by to see my best friend’s mom who generously gave me a bunch of her recipes, cookbooks and spices. And so for my first recipe I chose this lemon rice. A simple yet traditional recipe that would make a great jumping off point for Indian cooking. Though I was still missing a few ingredients I figured I would give it a shot anyway.
It’s pretty fascinating that even a quarter teaspoon of turmeric is powerful enough to completely alter the color of an entire cup of rice – transforming it from white to vibrant yellow. The other spices do their part as well – taking the bland dry rice and injecting it with deep Indian flavors. And finally the touch of lemon juice gives it the perfect tang (or is it zing?). I apologize if I’ve butchered an authentic recipe by leaving out some of the ingredients, and though I don’t know how it should really taste, I thoroughly enjoyed the dish I ended up with.
- 1 cup long grained rice
- 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup raw peanuts
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- salt to taste,
- 2 lemons, juiced
- cilantro, for garnish
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- Add rice to a pot, pouring enough water to cover the rice by 2 inches and let sit for 30-45 minutes. Rinse the rice until water runs clear. Add a little bit less than 2 cups water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add turmeric and salt. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
- Over medium heat add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal to pan. When mustard seeds start to pop add green chilies, ginger and peanuts. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes, stirring occassionally.
- Add cooked rice to spice mix and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.