South Asian Lemon Rice

South Asian Lemon Rice

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1 to 2
Author CASA Veneracion


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3 to 4 cardamon pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter (see notes after the recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 pair kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced (or crumbled if using dried)
  • zest of one lemon finely grated
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt to taste
  • fried shallots homemade or store-bought


  • Cook the rice then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
  • In an oil-free pan, dry toast the cardamom pods, mustard seeds and coriander seeds until they emit a nutty aroma. Cool a bit then grind the spices into a paste.
  • Heat the ghee or clarified butter in a frying pan. Add the spice paste, kaffir lime leaf, lemon zest and turmeric powder. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant.
  • Add the rice. Stir. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Cook just until heated through.
  • Squeeze the lemon over the rice. Stir. Add the fried onion sliced. Stir one last time.
  • Serve hot.


Ghee is available in South Asian stores. If inaccessible to you, make clarified butter. Veggie Belly has very detailed instructions.