It has been a while since I posted a South Indian dish here. Here’s something simple and quick that I made for dinner yesterday.
1 cup uncooked basmati (or any other long-grain) rice
2 Tbsp oil (gingelly/sesame oil would be ideal here)
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 red chillies
A pinch of asafoetida
½ tsp turmeric powder
3-4 green chillies, minced
4-5 curry leaves
½ onion, finely chopped
¾ tsp ginger paste
A good handful of coriander leaves, chopped up
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 2 large and juicy lemons)
Cook the rice. (I always use the microwave for this.)
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan. Add chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, red chillies asafoetida, turmeric powder, green chillies, and curry leaves. Next add the onions, ginger paste, and salt. Cook till the onions soften.
Add the hot rice and mix well. Turn off the heat; add lemon juice to the rice. Add a touch of sugar too if you so desire. Keep for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the rice to absorb the lemon juice and all of the other flavors.
I normally use rice that has been left over from the previous day to make preparations like tomato rice, tamarind rice, ghee rice, etc. In the case of lemon rice though, I have found that it tastes best when the rice used is fresh and steaming hot.