Flavorful, tangy, and crunchy Lemon Rice from South India, made as a one-pot dish in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Aromatic Basmati Rice flavored with lemon juice, mustard seeds, and ginger and topped with roasted peanuts. It takes less than 30 minutes to make this delicious Instant Pot Lemon Rice.
These citrus-flavored rice are like a bowl of sunshine right in your kitchen. You will always find Lemon Rice at any South Indian restaurant. With just a few ingredients, this rice is packed with flavor. It is great to pack for lunch with a side of veggies.
I had enjoyed Lemon Rice many times at my South Indian friend’s place and in restaurants. When I saw that my daughter really enjoyed them, I had to make them myself. She is so picky and I am always looking for a more options for her lunch box.
Try them out, you will definitely enjoy Lemon Rice with yogurt/raita along with some pickle. Lemon Rice can also be served as a side along with some protein such as grilled chicken or fish or veggies. If you are bored of plain rice or quinoa, try this lemon rice with your favorite curry.
Lemon Rice is a popular greek dish as well, however it is flavored differently than this South Indian Lemon Rice. That is typically flavored with lemon and topped with parsley. The Mexican variation is to make Cilantro Lime Rice. Isn’t it interesting to find similarities in many world cuisines?
Easy Recipe to make Lemon Rice in the Pressure Cooker
Firstly I always start with gathering the ingredients. If you have done any South Indian cooking, you will most likely have all the ingredients at home.
We will start with the tempering. Heat ghee (or oil for vegan) in the instant pot, then add the lentils (chana & urad dal). These lentils are commonly used for tempering in many South Indian dishes. We add them first, as they take longer to cook. Then we will add the other tempering ingredients – mustard seeds, dry red chili, ginger and curry leaves.
Saute them for about 30 seconds, then add the rice, water and lemon juice. That is all for the active preparation for this Lemon Rice.
Pressure cook for 4 minutes, followed by a 10 minutes pressure release. Add roasted peanuts once you open the pot. Fluff the rice with a fork. We love the perfectly cooked and fluffy grains of rice.
If you don’t have roasted peanuts, then you can roast them in the instant pot before starting the recipe. Add 1-2 tbsp of ghee and add roast the peanuts in it. Take them out and continue with the recipe below. You can also add roasted cashews if you like.
Check out these other rice recipes made in the Instant Pot
- Black-eyed peas and Spinach Rice
- Vegetable Rice Pulao
- Mushroom & Brown Rice Pilaf
- Spinach Rice Pilaf
- Green Peas Pulao
Want to find other easy Instant Pot Recipes? Here are 29 Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes for you to try!
Lemon Rice Recipe – Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker
- 2 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
- 1 tablespoon Split Chickpeas (Chana dal)
- 1 tablespoon Split Skinned Black Gram Lentils (Urad dal)
- 1 tablespoon Mustard Seeds (Rai)
- 1 Dried Red Chili Whole, broken (optional)
- 10-12 Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta)
- 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing), optional, skip for gluten-free
- 1 tablespoon Ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- 1 teaspoon Salt, adjust to taste
- 2 cups Basmati Rice, rinsed
- 2 1/4 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Peanuts, roasted (and/or cashews)
- Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add chana dal and urad dal. Sauté them for about a minute until they are slightly browned.
- Add mustard seeds, dry red chili, curry leaves, asafoetida and ginger. Stir and saute for 30 seconds while the mustard seeds splutter.
- Add turmeric powder and salt. Stir well.
- Add rice and water. Stir in the lemon juice. Press Cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position.
- Start the instant pot in Manual or Pressure Cook for 4 minutes at high pressure. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then quick release the pressure manually.
- Add roasted peanuts. Gently fluff the rice with a fork while mixing the peanuts in the rice.
- Lemon Rice is ready to be enjoyed!