This easy recipe for lemon rice combines the amazing flavors of the Indian staple with the healthier brown rice and crunchy vegetables to give you a delicious vegan one-pot meal in less than 30 minutes.
Lemon rice, one of the staples in India, is a simple dish 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 is so versatile, it can be eaten as a main vegetarian dish with just plain yogurt or with a salad like the pomegranate salad with coconut or beet orange salad. If you’re not in a mood for salads, try the cheesy quinoa patties or potato croquettes with cheese.
Or can be eaten with meat or seafood. Some interesting ones would be:
- baked salmon kababs
- 5-ingredient garlic prawns
- baked buttermilk chicken legs
- simple fish cakes
- quick and easy soy chicken
How to make lemon rice with brown rice
cooking the brown rice
Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker or instant pot. The quantity of water used is about 3 times that of brown rice.
If you’re cooking brown rice for the first time, it’s better to cook on a stovetop using a wide pot or pan. The amount of water should be at least 4 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 large strainer and let it cool in a tray or wide bowl.
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 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!
Looking for more easy brown and red rice recipes? Check out these:
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Recipe for lemon rice with brown rice
- brown rice – 1 1/2 cups
- water – 4 1/2 cups or as per package instructions.
- soya beans or edamame – 1/2 cup frozen or dried
- sesame oil – 2 tbsp
- mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- curry leaves – 1 sprig
- cashews – 10
- green chili – 1 minced
- ginger – 1-inch piece minced
- carrot – 1 grated
- turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt or as needed
- Cook the brown rice in the rice cooker. If you're cooking on stove-top, boil 6 cups of water in a wide pot, add the rice and cook until done. The rice should be cooked just right: not mushy and the individual grains should be intact. Drain the rice using a strainer and let it cool.
- Boil the frozen soya beans in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. If using dried soybeans, soak them overnight and cook in a pressure cooker. cook until high pressure is reached, then at low pressure for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan or wok, add mustard. After it splutters add curry leaves, cashews, minced green chili and ginger, carrot and turmeric powder in the same order.
- Add the cooked soybeans and salt. Saute for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and the cooked brown rice and mix well.
- If needed, add more lemon juice or salt according to individual taste.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Cooking the brown rice: the time and water required to cook the rice might vary depending on the brand and the equipment to cook. The measurements specified here are for Indian brown rice using electric rice cooker.
- If you’re new to brown rice, the most fool-proof way to cook is the stove-top method as mentioned in the instructions above.
- If you’re not a great fan of soybeans, you can replace them with green peas, fresh, frozen or dried. Cooking method is the same.
- Don’t forget the lemon zest for that amazingly unique flavor.