Lemon rice is a traditional and popular recipe down south popularly called chitrannam or nimmakaya pulihora in Telugu version of the recipe. It is the easiest and tangy flavoured recipe which is basically tempered rice often made in yellow colour.

This is one of my favorite rice delicacies which is made using ordinary rice but it can also be made using basmati rice.

Just cook the basmati until it is 95 % done and strain the rice and add the rice to the tempering.

Also check out other veg rice recipes like veg biryani in cooker, mango rice, curd rice etc…

lemon rice recipe or chitrannam

                 This nimmakaya pulihora is a favorite among kids and is a popular breakfast rice delicacy down south. It can also be made for kids lunch box and is usually accompanied by a chutney or a pickle…

            This south indian lemon rice or pulihora is a delicious and simple rice delicacy made with aromatic tempering of mustard seeds, dals, curry leaves, turmeric powder and lemon extracted juice.


            It is also made during several occasions down south and down south every occasion should mostly consist of a vegetarian rice delicacy and south indians mostly make chitrannam as a special dish.

             This nimmakaya pulihora rice can often be packed as kids lunch box recipes…The color of the recipe is so appealing that nobody can resist trying it and having it. I just love making lemon rice often for breakfasts.


               When we have left over rice too then, making this special nimmakaya pulihora is the best option. All we need to make this lemon rice is nimmakaya that is lemons and left over rice/cooked rice . Apart from that we just need few tempering ingredients to complete the chitrannam.

Below are the recipe details on how to make quick yellow lemon flavored veg rice with a video procedure too and also with detailed instructions…


Lemon Rice Recipe South Indian Style, Chitrannam | Nimmakaya Pulihora


A special andhra recipe which is hugely popular all across south India and is always made during occasions and it is yellow colored tempered tangy lemon flavored rice…

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course Rice

Cuisine South Indian/Andhra

Servings 2

Calories 310 kcal


  • 1 cup rice cooked/left over rice
  • 2 tablespoon edible oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal/bengal gram
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal/split black gram
  • 3-4 vertically slit green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chillies
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt – to taste
  • 1 tablespoon full lemon extracted juice


Step 2:

  • Firstly, in a wok, add oil and heat it.

  • Into it, add peanuts and saute well.

  • Add chana dal and urad dal and stir the ingredients for few seconds.

  • Add vertically slit green chillies and mix well.

  • Add mustard seeds and dried red chillies and stir the ingredients.

  • Add curry leaves and allow them to crackle.

  • Add turmeric powder and salt as per taste and mix it up well.

  • Add 1 cup cooked rice and mix the rice evenly with the tempering/tadka.

  • Sprinkle lemon extract all over the rice and mix the rice evenly.

  • Cook for a minute.

  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves if required.

  • Serve hot with pickle or eat it plain…


1.Here I have directly mixed rice with tempering but, if we are making lemon rice in large quantity then, it is better to transfer the tempering all over the rice bowl and mix it up well…
2.Cooked basmati rice too can be used to make the lemon rice…


Nutrition Facts

Lemon Rice Recipe South Indian Style, Chitrannam | Nimmakaya Pulihora

Amount Per Serving

Calories 310

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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