Lime rice is also mostly known as lemon Rice where lemon and Lime is considered or mistaken for other. This is a very popular and flavourful rice preparation of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is tempered with lentils, nuts, chillies, leaves etc, leaving behind all its flavours in the rice. It can be served on its own, or have it with yogurt, pickle and Pappadums. You can also serve with some spicy non-vegetarian curries like Malabar Chicken Curry , Chicken Fry Masala , Beef Ularthiyathu , Mutton Buhari , Mutton Ularthiyathu, and my favorite combination Chicken Chettinadu .
Lime Rice (Elumichham Pazham Saadham)
3 cups (600g) Basmati rice (Kolam Rice is used in the traditional preparation.)
Salt as required
1 ½ tbsp Channa Dal, soaked in hot water for ½ hour *
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoon ground turmeric **
3 dried red chillies
2 green chillies
2 teaspoon Urad Dal
½ cup broken cashew nuts or peanuts
2 sprigs curry leaves
¼ tsp asafoetida/hing/Kaaram
1/3 cup coconut oil/ghee
2 Tbsp lime juice***
1. Wash rice well. Bring a large pan of water to boil and add required amount of salt. Add rice and cook by keeping the lid open until done. Make sure there is lot of water for teh rice to move around and take care not to overcook. Drain rice in a large colander.
2. In a large non-stick saucepan (I used the same pan that I used for cooking rice, used it after washing it.) heat oil. Fry broken cashew nuts or peanuts until golden. Take them out using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel. Similarly fry the soaked and drained channa dal until golden and keep them long with fried cashews/peanuts.
3. In the same oil, splutter mustard. Add urad dal and fry till golden. Add curry leaves, red chillies and sauté for few seconds.
4. Add turmeric and asafoetida and sauté for 30 seconds on low-medium heat.
5. Add rice, fried nuts and dal and mix well.
6. Add lime juice and mix well. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot/ warm with any spicy curry or along with curd and pickle.
* Channa dal is normally added without soaking and is hard when fried dry. To avoid the hard bite, it can be soaked for sometime, drained and then pat dried before using.
** You can reduce turmeric to ½ teaspoon or 1 teaspoon to make it less yellowy.
*** Lemon juice can also be added instead of lime. Increase it as per your taste. The amount of lemon juice gives it just a milder lemony taste.