Lemon Rice

Cashew Pilau 

Here’s a bit of food trivia to dispense over supper…

Did you know that over half the world’s population eats rice as a staple ingredient?
Over 90% of rice is consumer in Asia.
As we head to a global population increase to 9 billion eating rice beyond Asia will continue to grow as a Western staple.

So despite trends and fads in diet and nutrition, it would appear that rice is not about to exit the stage. So how does one revive their rice repertoire and rather than serving it as a side, can you give it a prime position on the menu? The Persians and their Mughla dynasty knew their onions when it came to Pilaus, Pilafs and Biryanis. However, this little gem has its’ roots in India’s deep south touched with cashew nuts, curry leaves, puckered with mustard seeds and spritzed with lemons. This Lemon Rice recipe made a recent cameo appearance…it stole the show. It’s worthy of a food Oscar.

Serves 6

  • 2½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp split chana dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 3 dried red chillies, left whole
  • 1 rounded tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 tbs curry leaves, torn
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 350g freshly cooked basmati rice
  • Salt
Lemon Rice

How To Make Lemon Rice

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds, the chana dal, black gram and the chillies and stir fry until lightly browned. Add the ginger, ground turmeric, peanuts, curry leaves and salt, to taste, and cook for about 40 seconds.

Stir in the lemon juice and cook for another minute before adding the rice. Stir fry to heat through, being careful not to break up the grains too much. Serve hot with a blob of yoghurt raitha or your favourite chutney.

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