This easy recipe for lemon rice combines the amazing flavors of the popular Indian rice recipe with the healthier brown rice and crunchy vegetables to give you a delicious vegan meal or side for your meat/ fish in less than 30 minutes.
The traditional recipe for lemon rice is a simple one made by mixing cooked white rice with lemon juice, turmeric and a simple garnish. In this healthier version of the recipe, I have swapped white rice with brown rice and added ingredients like carrots and soybeans for the extra crunch, nutrition and flavor. These ingredients have mild flavors and go well with the authentic zesty flavor of the traditional lemon rice recipe.
This lemon rice keeps well for about 5 to 6 hours even without refrigerating, so it is ideal for lunch box or as a side for a potluck menu.
How to make lemon rice with brown rice
(detailed recipe below in recipe card)
how to make brown rice
Soak the rice for about 30 minutes.
If you’re cooking brown rice for the first time, it’s better to cook on a stovetop using a wide pot or pan. Boil about 5 cups of water for every cup of brown rice. The amount of water should be at least 5 times that of rice. Boil water and add the rice. Cook until you’re able to squeeze an individual grain with ease but not mushy. Drain the rice using a strainer and let it cool in a tray or wide bowl.
For more tips on cooking brown rice, read the recipe for stir-fried red rice with Thai flavors.
For cooking the brown rice in a rice cooker or instant pot, the quantity of water should be about 3 times that of brown rice.
ingredients for the lemon rice recipe
The lemon rice uses simple garnishing ingredients like mustard, curry leaves, cashews, minced green chili and ginger. Saute them in oil and add turmeric, carrots and soybeans. Remove from heat, add the cooled brown rice, lemon juice, zest and salt.
A great source of protein, (apart from iron, calcium, omega-3 fats, fiber and a host of minerals) especially for vegetarians and lactose intolerant people, soybeans are best consumed as a whole food rather than processed. For this recipe, I have used the frozen edamame. You can also use dried soybeans, which have to be soaked overnight and pressure cooked.
Edamame beans are nothing but tender, immature soybeans in the pod.
If soybeans or edamame are not easily available or they’re not your favorite, they can be replaced with an equal quantity of green peas, fresh, frozen or dried. Use the same cooking instructions as for soybeans.
the secret ingredient
There’s a burst of flavor from lemon zest which makes this simple recipe for lemon rice irresistible!
what to eat this lemon rice with
Or it can be eaten with meat or seafood. Some interesting ones would be:
- baked salmon kababs
- 5-ingredient garlic prawns
- easy oven baked chicken legs
- simple fish cakes
- tandoori chicken
Tips to make healthy brown rice recipes
If you want to replace white rice with brown rice in your favorite rice recipes, follow these simple steps. Once you know the brown rice to water ratio and how to cook brown rice as above, you can make the best brown rice recipes:
- Add more seasoning for brown rice. (About 25% more than when you use white rice.)
- After cooking and seasoning the brown rice, keep it closed and allow it to sit for a minimum of about 15 minutes so that the flavors are absorbed by the brown rice.
- If you are cooking just plain brown rice to eat with curry, do this: after cooking and straining, transfer the rice back to the pot and keep it closed for about 10 minutes. This will allow the rice to steam and get fluffy in the residual heat. If you are using rice cooker or instant pot, do the same thing: allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Looking for more easy recipes with brown rice and red rice? Check out these:
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