Tag Archives: turmeric

Lemon Rice ~South Indian Fried Rice

Lemon Rice ~South Indian Fried Rice

South Indian Lemon Rice is one of those quick and easy dishes to prepare when you have some left over rice on hand or need to make a quick side dish that goes well with a variety of main dishes.  I love the fresh flavors and the unique taste of the curry leaves along with the crunch of the toasted cashews and split gram lentils.  No wonder it’s such a popular dish all over the Southern part of India.  The key to the flavor of this dish is keeping it at a high heat and allowing each ingredient to toast and pop to add to the depth of taste.  You have to work fast though and have all the ingredients nearby because it can burn really fast.  Recent studies have linked Turmeric with lower incidences of Alzheimer’s disease and as a great anti-inflammatory agent.  In this dish the Turmeric gives it that light, golden color with a hint of flavor that does not overshadow the lemony taste. A great way to get in some added health benefits while enjoying great taste.

Ingredients for Lemon Rice

What makes Lemon rice unique are the black mustard seeds, dried chilies and fresh curry leaves.

Heat mustard seeds and dried whole red chilies in hot oil until the seeds begin to pop and crackle

Add Sesame seeds and Split Gram lentils

Add raw, unsalted Cashews

Add golden raisins and Turmeric

Add the Curry Leaves and stir fry

Add Lemon zest and lemon juice

Mix in rice and toss

Delicious South Indian Lemon Rice

Here’s the Recipe:

Lemon Rice~South Indian Fried Rice

4 cups cooked rice (I prefer Basmati Rice)

5 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

5 dried red whole Chilies

1 tablespoon Split Gram yellow lentils

1 tsp raw Sesame Seeds

3 tablespoons Golden Raisins

1/4 cup raw unsalted Cashews

1 lemon, zested

Juice from one lemon

1 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

2 tsp Kosher salt

10-12 fresh Curry Leaves

In a large wok or frying pan heat oil and stir fry mustard seeds and dried chilies until mustard seeds begin to pop.  Add in Sesame Seeds, lentils and salt and stir fry another 50 seconds.  Add in Cashews, Raisins and Turmeric stir fry a few seconds before adding in curry leaves and then the zest of one lemon and the juice of the entire lemon.  Stir to blend flavors and add in cooked rice, tossing well to coat.  Serve hot as a vegetarian dish or as a great side dish.

Bengali Style Green Beans


Panch Puran (pronounced “Phoron”) is one of the quintessential Bengali spice mixes. It is a mixture of five different spice seeds.  “Panch” means five and “Phoron” loosely translated means to put over high heat.  Each one of the spice seeds when toasted on a hot, dry skillet begins to jump and skip across the pan.  The flavor is fantastic.  In colloquial language that jumping and skipping of spices on a hot pan is also used to describe people in dicey situations!  A great visual don’t you think?  When life gets hot, we do tend to do a bit of jumping and skipping!

This is simple yet delicious recipe very common in everyday Bengali cuisine.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Five seeds are: Mustard, Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek and Kalonji

Serves 2-4

1 16oz package frozen French cut green beans

1 tsp salt

2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp Panch Phoron (Bengali 5 spice)

4 tbsp oil

½ onion, chopped

1 serrano chili seeded and chopped

In a  frying pan heat oil and add panch phoron and salt and stir fry until the seeds begin crackling, jumping and skipping (you can enjoy the show for about 2 minutes).  Add onions and green Serrano chili and stir fry until onions are soft and translucent.  Add turmeric and stir fry a few more minutes so flavors meld together.  Add green beans and stir fry until beans look well coated.  Cover and let cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until green beans are tender.  Serve warm with rice.