Qwik Recipes

Lemon Rice Recipe | South Indian Chitranna Recipe

A bowl of Chitranna, a South Indian rice dish, garnished with fresh coriander leaves. The rice is mixed with mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chilies, and peanuts and lemon.

What is Chitranna?

Chitranna is a popular South Indian rice dish that features a burst of flavors, combining tangy and spicy notes with the fragrance of fresh curry leaves. It is made with lemon or tamarind, giving it a refreshing taste. Chitranna is a favorite dish of many during festivals, special occasions, or as a quick and delicious meal.


  • 1 cup basmati rice (cooked and cooled)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1-2 Lemons as per taste 
  • Salt to taste


For Tadka:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1/4 tablespoon chana dal
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing 



Step 1: Cooking Rice

  • Cook basmati rice. Add 1/4 tablespoon of ghee while cooking. Once cooked drain the excess water and allow it to cool completely.


Step 2: Preparing Tadka

  • In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal and pinch of hing. Allow them to splutter.
  • Add chopped green chillies, curry leaves, raw peanuts and 1/4 tablespoon turmeric. Sauté until the peanuts are golden.
  • Add Lemon juice (1-2 as per taste preference)


Step 3: Add Rice

  • Add the basmati rice to the pan. Mix gently to coat the rice with the tadka and spices.
  • Add salt to taste. Stir well to ensure the spices are mixed well.


Step 4: Final Mixing

  • Mix all the ingredients properly.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves


Step 5: Serving

  • Chitranna is ready to be served! It can be enjoyed on its own or paired with yogurt, pickle or a side of your choice.


Why Chitranna is Famous:

Chitranna is a beloved dish in South India, often prepared during festivals, celebrations, and as a quick and satisfying meal. The use of lemon or tamarind gives it a refreshing twist, making it a delightful and flavorful option for those who appreciate South Indian cuisine.

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