Chitrannam- A flavorful rice

As you all know, I make rice dishes often as it is very easy and quick to prepare. Just throw in some veggies, masala, rice and keep it in the rice cooker. Rice dishes also stay well in lunch boxes and a simple raitha or a salad is enough to make it a full meal. Though I make pulao or mixed vegetable rice often, I skip lemon rice. I thought lemon rice is simple and there is nothing more to it. Even when I make lemon rice I make some spicy side dish to go with it. But just a few days ago, during Pongal, Linda made this Chitrannam(Lemon rice) for the Sankaranthi festival and I was just drooling at the way she presented the dish.

Linda was inspired by Indira and I couldn’t resist. N usually makes a face when I pack lemon rice but even as I was making this rice, the entire house was filled with a wonderful aroma and he kept asking, “what’s cooking?”. For me, that is instant success. I didn’t say lemon rice or elumicham pazham sadam, instead I said, ” I am making Nimmakaya Pulihora” to make it sound royal. Lovely name isn’t it?

Ingredients (Serves-2)

Cooked rice- 1.25 cups
Fresh lemon juice- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup (depending on your taste, about 3 lemons)
Yogurt chilies-2
Red chilies-4
Green chilies-4
Chopped Ginger- 1 tsp
Cashew nuts (whole)- 2 tbsp
Peanuts- 1/4 cup
Salt- to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp

Potato- big yellow potato- 1

Sesame oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Chana dal- 1 tsp
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- few


Wash and peel the skin of the potato. Chop it into small cubes.

Heat a pan and fry the peanuts. Let it cool and remove the skin. Keep aside.

Fry cashew nuts with a drop of oil till golden brown and keep aside.

Heat sesame oil in a pan and add asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, chana dal, cumin seeds,yogurt chilies, red chilies, green chilies, chopped ginger and stir fry well. When the chilies are 3/4th cooked, add the chopped potato, salt and turmeric powder and cover and let the potato cook. If needed add just about a table spoon of water.

When the potato is cooked through, add the fried peanuts, cashew nuts and stir fry well. The potato should not be soggy but firm yet well cooked. Add the cooked rice to this pan and stir fry slowly. Do not mash the rice. Let the potato and nuts combine with the rice. Pour the lemon juice and mix evenly. Switch off.

Taste if salt and lemon juice is enough. Adjust to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature. This lemon rice tastes good on its own. If you want, serve it with a simple salad or a pachadi.

(PS: Yogurt chilies are chilies soaked in salted yogurt, then sun dried and deep fried, the yogurt chili is the one sitting on top of the rice)

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21 Comments to “Chitrannam- A flavorful rice”

  1. Usha says:

    One of my favorites, looks delicious !

  2. SE says:

    nice and colorful…same as phodni bhath from maharashtra..

  3. Asha says:

    Karnataka Chitranna is very simple, this is more like Pulihora, a royal dish as you said with inger, yogurt chilli etc,. Very good and great recipe. I add yogurt chillies to Mosaranna, so yummy. Must try your recipe for dinner one day.
    More snow for us tomorrow. Bummer! 😀

  4. Usha says:

    Thanks for reminding me of the salad event, I had forgotten about it :-)

  5. Priya says:

    Adding potatoes sounds very new to lemon rice…lovely dish dear..

  6. Cham says:

    Hehe whatever u call it, my son comes up and says mom yellow rice, huh, the other one lemon rice! So I end up eating all alone!

  7. simplyfood says:

    Lovely colour ,colourful and looks tempting.

  8. looks good and dekicious!

  9. Wow, such a delectable dish, as you said rice dishes are easy to make and they taste great!!! Looks very tempting!!!

  10. PJ says:

    oh wow, the rice looks absolutely delicious and a beautiful click! What is yogurt chili by the way?

  11. Oraphan says:

    Wow! Your lemon rice looks and sounds absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing another rice recipe that I can add to my rice dish collection. BTW, I love the name of this rice dish, it really does sound lovely:)

  12. wow that looks delicious,adding potato in lemon rice is a nice idea and it does looks very yummy too esp the colour of it is beautiful…

  13. notyet100 says:

    looks yummy regular one in my kitchen,,,

  14. Joanne says:

    I love it when good food smells permeate the entire house. It’s the perfect start to a delicious meal.

    this rice looks fantastic! I can understand why you enjoyed it so much.

  15. Jagruti says:

    Lovely and enjoyable rice…;)) i’m a rice lover..

  16. Nina says:

    Its surely an easy n a delicious rice.I would add more asafoetida to make it smell all the more good:)

  17. Sayantani says:

    thats perfect one pot meal. will try it tomorrow and will let you know.

  18. Rujuta says:

    Lovely lemon rice recipe and amazing click……..

    Great minds definately think alike as even I m generally making rice dishes…….:))

    Lovely single dish meal…….

  19. yes i checked it now my paneer behan:)…actually if u moderate the comments for the previous posts its very difficult to check in which u have commented thats y could see it now…

  20. Sadhana says:

    One of my favorite rice dishes, looks so delicious.

  21. Asha says:

    Haha! Hello Psychic sister, good morning. Well…weather is not bad here although it dumped 2″ of snow. But temp was 33F, so most of the snow melted really and roads are quite okay. Thanks God.

    Hre is the list of all desserts I have posted in both blogs and here is the Chiroti link. This one I posted is tradtional shape, Mysore Chiroti is just fried Maida+rave discs and sprinkle with sugar pd. I made it little fancy.

    Oh dear! I can’t link it because it says no right click!!!! Well.. take that thing off woman! :)

    I will link it at my own comment section, take it from there, okay? :)

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