link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' Sukanya's musings: LEMON RICE / LIMBU SADAM

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

LEMON RICE / LIMBU SADAM

LEMON RICE / LIMBU SADAM
Rice is a staple food of the South Indians. There are many varieties of rice that is made in the south Indian cuisine, one such rice is Lemon Rice (Lemon flavored rice).
The Kerala Iyer’s settled in Mumbai had a different lingo(slang) for everything.
Lemons are known as Limbu in Maharashtrian language and everyone calls it Limbu in Mumbai. In other South Indian states, it’s known as Elimichai (Tamil), CheruNaranga fondly called as Naranga as well (Malayalam), Nimmakaya in (Telegu) and Nimbe (Kannada) and so on and so forth.
Tambrams in Mumbai were such an eclectic mix language wise that we adopted whatever was easy on the tongue and easy for all the generations to understand, so Lemon Rice at my place was called Limbu Sadam. Amma used to pack Lemon rice for us in our tiffin boxes and the wafting aroma of the lemon, hours after it was cooked was still so refreshing. That could be the reason it was packed for our long journeys by train/bus.
I’m going to share the basic recipe of Lemon Rice made by my mother. It can be made exotic by adding various other ingredients as well. 


Ingredients (Serves 2)
Rice -1 cup
Lemon -1
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
White lentil (Urad dal split) -1 tsp
Bengal Gram (Channa dal/kadalai paruppu) -1 tbsp
Red chillies - 1-2 (broken in 2 halves)
Green chillies - 2 -3 (Broken in 2 halves)
Asafetida (Hing) - a pinch
Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped (Optional)
Salt as per taste

Method
Soak the rice for about 20 minutes, after that cook the rice, preferably cook it in the proportion of 1 cup rice:2 cups water. (Refer to tips below).
Rice must not be gluey or stuck to each other, it has to be separate. The texture of the rice is very important to get this recipe right.
Heat oil, add mustard seeds, white lentils (urad dal), Bengal Gram (Chana dal), Red chilies. When the mustard starts to splutter and the dals are turning slightly pink, add in Green chilies, curry leaves and asafetida.
Add the cooked rice, turmeric and salt as per taste. Give it all a good mix, Sauté for about 5-6 minutes till the mixture becomes uniform and is hot. Turn off the gas.
At this stage, squeeze the juice of a lemon (De-seed), Give it all a good mix so that lemon is ingested into the grains of rice
*Very Important - Do not cook after adding the lemon juice, the taste may become bitter!!!
After this, check for salt and if needed, add again and mix well.
Garnish with Freshly chopped coriander leaves (optional).
Serve hot or let it cool and pack it in Tiffin boxes.
Traditionally, lemon rice is served with Papads (Lentil Crackers) / Vadaams (Fryums).
Lemon rice goes well with any dry curries(sabzis) as well.
Serve it the way you like. Eat it the way you enjoy.

Tips
· Use Leftover rice to make the lemon rice as the starch in the rice gets less sticky as it gets colder. There is a big chance that the rice won’t stick to each other.

· If using freshly cooked rice, after cooking, spread it on a plate and let it cool down under a fan.

· Spice levels can be increased or decreased as per taste

· Addition of lemon decreases the salt taste, so after adding the lemon, check for salt and if needed, add again

· Do not skip Chana dal as it gives a crunch to the lemon rice.


VARIATIONS

· Can Add peanuts to the lemon rice. Fry the peanuts in Oil and keep aside and add when you add the cooked rice.

· Can Add Cashew nuts to the lemon rice. Fry the cashew nuts golden in Oil and keep aside and add when you add the cooked rice.

· You can add green peas, if you are adding green peas, sauté until lighter color in the oil after you add the green chilies and curry leaves

· You can add grated or diced(small) carrots for extra nutrition. if you are adding carrots, sauté until soft in the oil after you add the green chilies and curry leaves

· You can add onion to this recipe.

· You can add ginger to this recipe. Pound ¼ inch ginger and add along with chilies in the recipe.

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