Maunika Gowardhan's Lemon Rice

A refreshing, southern Indian idea that makes the perfect partner for any curry. The rice soaks in zingy lemon juice and zest along with turmeric, mustard seeds and fresh coriander. 

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6


3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 green chilli, split lengthways
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
350g cooked basmati rice, grains fluffed and separated
2 small lemons, juice and 2 tsp zest
10-12 dried curry leaves, coarsely crushed
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped


1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, let them splutter for 5 seconds, then add the chilli for 2-3 seconds.

2. Turn the heat to low and add the turmeric and ginger. Fry for 5 seconds, then add the cooked rice. Stir well for a minute, making sure the rice absorbs all the flavours. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, then turn off the heat. While the rice is still warm, add the curry leaves and season to taste. Garnish with the coriander just before serving.