Chitrannam (Lemon Rice)
- 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/3 cup cashews or peanuts or combination
- 2-4 green Serrano or Thai chilies halved lengthwise
- 1 stem curry leaves
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 tablespoons dry roasted chana dal optional
- 1 tablespoon urad dal optional
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Juice of 2 lemons about ¼ cup or limes
- 1 teaspoon salt dissolved in the lemon juice
- 3 cups cold or room temperature leftover cooked rice preferably basmati
- Heat oil over medium heat in a medium nonstick skillet.
- Add a mustard seed to test the heat of the oil (it should pop).
- When the oil is ready, add all the mustard seed and cumin seed. Let sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Then add nuts, chilies, and curry leaves.
- Then add garlic cloves. This mixture will sizzle and pop; stir continuously and immediately lower heat to medium.
- Add the dals. Be careful not to burn the dal or garlic. This whole process should not take too long—about 5-7 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add the turmeric. Stir well.
- Let this fried spice mixture cool down.
- Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix the cold rice well with your hands or a wooden spoon. Warm to room temperature in the microwave if it’s too cold (i.e. 3-4 minutes)
- Add lemon juice mixture to the rice. Mix well.
- Add the spices/nuts mixture to the rice. Mix well. Season with additional salt as necessary.
- Serve at room temperature or warm.