Friday, June 8, 2012


Lemon rice, also known as 'elumichambazha chadham' is a part of grand Palakkad feasts. It is an ideal packed lunch item many used to carry during train journeys. Nowadays many choose to fly and those who travel by train prefer to buy meals. 
This is a quicky. When I used to have leftover rice, my lunchbox would contain light yellow, tangy and tasty lemon rice which would disappear in no time with my friends yearning for more and suggesting that I bring the same everyday! If you want to tuck in some veggies, you are most welcome to do so!
At home, we call it 'nimbu chadham' (Hindamil) - that's how cosmopolitan our family is! Actually if you want to know the real reason, my family is more comfy with the term 'nimbu' than 'elumichambazham'. 

Serves 4

Rice – 1 glass
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Chana dal / chutney dal – 1-2 tbsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Green chilli – 2 – chopped
Curry leaves – 10
Coriander leaves – 1-2 tbsp
Juice of 1- 11/2 big lemon
Oil – 4-5 tbsp
Cashew nut pieces / roasted peanuts – 2 tbsp

Cook the rice, making sure it is not overcooked. 
Spread it on a plate and allow it to cool.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a nonstick pan add mustard seeds, urad dal and chutney dal followed by a pinch of asafetida. Add chopped green chilli and curry leaves and turmeric powder and stir.
Lower the stove and add the rice. Add salt and stir gently.
Turn off the heat.
After 5 minutes, add chopped coriander leaves and the juice of 1 lemon and mix well.
Garnish with roasted groundnuts or roasted cashews.
Serve hot / cold with papads / fryums.

Traditionally sesame oil is used. But if you are not used to its taste you can use your regular oil.
Basmati rice / Kolam rice / any good quality rice can be used - it should not be overcooked or squishy.
Lemon rice comes in handy for travel – pack it after it is cooled to room temperature.

© Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.

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