Lemon Rice - Lime rice recipe 
South Indian rice recipe

Chitranna - Kalasanna - Elumicham Sadam

This Lemon rice recipe or lime rice recipe is a South Indian rice recipe. It is easy and quick and simple to make. 

Lime rice is known as Nimbu rice in Hindi, chitranna or kalasanna in Kannada, elumicham sadam in Tamil.

Lemon rice - lime rice - Nimbe chitrannaLemon rice - lime rice - Nimbe chitranna

If the steamed rice - plain rice is ready, you can make it in 5 minutes. You may also make this with a day old leftover rice.

It is served at festivals, wedding feasts and parties too. When it is made on festival days, it is made with freshly made and cooled rice.

As it is served at room temperature, it is very convenient when you are busy as you can make it in advance.

It is served for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the Southern states of India. It is a good rice dish for taking for picnic or as a lunch to school or office.

You may use basmati rice or any other white rice for this recipe. Use the rice that you normally use.

Remember that rice should not be overcooked. It will get mushy when you mix. Rice should be just cooked with each grain separated. Cool it before using for this rice.

How to make lemon rice - Lime rice

Ingredients for lemon rice - Lime rice - Nimbe chitranna

  • Cooked plain rice - 2 cups
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Green chilies - 1 or 2, more or less according to taste
  • Groundnuts (peanuts) - 8-10 no.
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Dhania / Coriander leaves (Cilantro) - 1 tbsp chopped
  • Curry leaves - 4-5
  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
  • fresh grated coconut (optional) - 2-3 tbsp

Ingredients for Tempering lemon rice - chitranna

  • Vegetable Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Bengal gram dal(split chickpeas) - 1/2 tea spoon
  • Urad (black gram)dal - 1/2 tea spoon
  • Rai (Mustard seeds) - 1/4 tsp
  • Jeera (Cumin seeds) - 1/4 tsp
  • Hing (Asafoetida) - a pinch

Preparation before making lemon rice

  1. Chop/slit chili
  2. Chop coriander leaves
  3. Cool rice

Cooking lime rice

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  2. When they stop crackling, add peanuts, Bengal gram dal and urad dal. Fry for 5 seconds but do not let them burn.
  3. Add asafetida, turmeric powder
  4. Add chopped chilies, curry leaves. Fry for 5 seconds.
  5. Take off the pan from the stove and let it cool a little.
  6. Add cooked and cooled rice, lemon juice, salt, chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  7. Lime rice is ready.

Serve it as a meal by itself or with a cucumber or tomato salad and papad or your favorite kind of fried crispies.


  • The steamed rice should be cooked but not too soft. Each grain should still be separate otherwise the lime rice will be sticky rice.
  • Fresh grated coconut is always added to this rice dish but if planning to keep for long, you may add dry desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut or omit it.
  • For me the peanuts/groundnuts is a must for this lime rice. It adds to the flavor and the taste.

You might like these

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.