Lemon Rice

Lemon rice (Courtesy of Vivek Singh)

This very simple, deeply savoury rice dish is lifted by the juice of no less than three lemons. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.

Serves 4–6
400g basmati rice
3 tbsp vegetable or corn oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp chana dhal (split yellow chickpeas)
1 tsp white urad lentils (optional)
20 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp salt
Juice of 3 lemons

1 Wash the rice in plenty of cold water, then leave it to soak in more clean, cold water. Drain. Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a saucepan and add the rice. Cook uncovered, for 8–10 minutes, until the grains are tender, then drain and set aside.

2 Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds, chana dhal and urad lentils, and let them crackle. When the dhal and lentils start to turn golden, add the curry leaves and turmeric, and stir for 1 minute. You could need to sprinkle in water to prevent the turmeric burning.

Add the cooked rice, salt and lemon juice and toss gently to mix. Serve immediately.