We have leftover rice in our house, quite often. Occasionally we freeze it to use another day, or turn it into another dish. Many of you may use it to make an Asian-style fried rice. In the south of India there are 2 popular rice dishes made using leftover rice – tamarind and lemon. Lemon rice is the simplest to make and can be eaten by itself or with a vegetable or chutney.
The great thing about using leftover rice – it is on the dry side and the rice can be mixed easily. If you don’t have precooked rice, simply make sure the rice is refrigerated – its best to use when it is cold and not mushy!
Nuts are optional but give the dish a nice added crunch!
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup peanuts or raw cashew nuts
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
1 dry red chili
1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked rice
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Heat a tablespoon of oil and saute the nuts until lightly brown. Set aside.
Heat another tablespoon of oil, and add the mustard seeds. As soon as they start popping add the urad dal and the dry chili. As the urad dal turns light brown, add the ginger and curry leaves and stir over medium heat. Add the turmeric and salt.
Stir in the cooked rice and mix well. Add the lemon juice and cilantro leaves, and stir until combined.
Garnish with nuts. Best eaten at room temperature.