Lemon Rice Recipe(Chitranna)

Lemon Rice also called Chitranna in Kannada is an easy to prepare yet flavorful rice dish. This is also a good way to use the left over rice or maybe a quick dish idea when unexpected guests arrive. The flavor of this depends on the strong seasoning (Tadka) that is prepared before the cooked rice is added. Even though the seasoning is prepared using simple and  readily available ingredients like curry leaves, asafetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, daals they combine together to form an aromatic, sapid base to accommodate the rice. Peanuts add a nice crunch while the coconut balances the taste and adds little bit of sweetness.

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Growing up in Bangalore we used to live very close by to Venkateshwara Temple and some days this would be offered as Prasadam after the Lord’s Maha Mangala Aarthi. Some days the prasadam would be different but their Curd Rice and Cucumber kosambari were the ones to die for! During our summer holidays we used to make a bee line to collect this prasada and savor it after we got back home. The Prasad would be served in a special leaf cup called “donne” and that would maybe enhance the taste of this rice.

There are different variations even for this simple recipe. My mother prepares this without adding onions, while my MIL makes this by adding onions and sometimes even garlic. But usually onion and garlic is avoided while serving this as Neivadyam.

This is my contribution to Rice Mela hosted by Srivalli.



  • 2 cups cooked rice (make sure it is fluffy and grains are separated)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¾ cup chopped onion (optional)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup groundnuts
  • 3-4 green chillies (chopped finely)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
  • salt

For the seasoning (tadka)

  • 2 tsp urad daal
  • 1 tsp chana daal
  • Curry leaves
  • Asafetida
  • 1.5 tsp Mustard seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Oil
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  •  Take a big plate and spread out the rice making sure there are no lumps. Add salt, mix and keep aside.
  • Take a heavy bottom pan, add oil on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter, next add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafetida. Mix well. Now add the peanuts, green chillies, both the daals and roast until the peanuts get crunchy.
  • Note: The flavor comes from mustard seeds, so add more thatn usual. Also the quantity of oil should be more than usual.
  • Add the chopped onions (optional) and fry until it gets transparent.
  • Add the rice, turmeric and mix thoroughly. Cover the lid and let it cook for a while.
  • Finally add the coconut, chopped coriander leaves and juice of a lemon. Mix well. Serve hot.
  • Note: Make sure to add the lemon juice when the prepared rice has cooled down a little, else it tends to add sourness to the rice.