Elumichampazha Sadam (Lemon Rice)

Of all the flavoured rice recipes made in South India, lemon rice is the most popular. It is very easy to prepare and can be done in a jiffy. This is the go-to recipe when unexpected visitors drop in. Or when one is too lazy to cook a more elaborate meal. This extremely tasty rice is normally accompanied with either a potato or colocasia roast, papadam/crisps and a raita. However, I prefer it with a gravy dish as the rice itself is dry.

1 cup red or brown rice (preferably basmati)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 sprig curry leaves (kadi patta, karuvepillai)
2-3 dried red chillies, broken into two pieces each
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder, manjal podi)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice
Wash and soak the rice for at least 1/2 an hour
Heat a deep bottomed vessel and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add asafoetida, curry leaves and dried red chillies
Saute for a few seconds and add the rice
Mix well
Add turmeric powder, salt and water
Bring to a boil, uncovered
When it comes to a boil, cover the vessel and lower the heat
Cook till the rice is done (keep checking occasionally to ensure that there is enough water, adding more if necessary)
When rice is done, switch off flame
Mix in the lemon juice
Transfer to a serving dish
Serve hot with your favourite accompaniments

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