Lemon Pulihora (Indian Lemon Rice)


Rami Rao of Pittsburgh serves this fragrant pilaf with Indian curries and Mexican dishes. We added green chiles for more punch. Channa dal (yellow split peas) and curry leaves are sold at Indian markets.

  • 6Servings


  • 1/4 cup channa dal
  • 4 cups cooked basmati rice, warm
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cashews
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbs. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 2 dried red chiles, such as Thai chiles
  • 1/4 cup fresh green chiles (Anaheim or jalapeno), seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 dried curry leaves or 6 fresh curry leaves
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice


1. Place channa dal in small bowl; cover with hot water, and let sit 40 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, fluff cooked rice with fork, and transfer to large bowl. Add salt, and mix well.

3. Warm 2 1/2 tsp. oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cashews, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until brown and fragrant. Remove cashews using slotted spoon, and add to rice. Add drained channa dal to same skillet, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned. Stir in turmeric; add mixture to bowl with rice, and stir to blend.

4. Warm remaining 1 1/2 tsp. oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds; cook 30 seconds, or until seeds pop. Add cumin, chiles and curry leaves; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and add lemon juice. Stir spice mixture into rice. Taste, and add more salt and lemon juice if desired. 5. Let rice sit for 2 hours so flavors meld. Reheat, or serve at room temperature, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 243
  • Carbohydrate Content: 40 g
  • Fat Content: 6 g
  • Fiber Content: 2 g
  • Protein Content: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 973 mg
  • Sugar Content: 1 g