Easy South Indian Style Lemon rice made with millets, turmeric, lemon juice and green chilly. It is tangy, crunchy, light and refreshing rice dish.
If you are just starting to incorporate millets in your diet, this lemon millet rice will make you fall in love with millets. Its Vegan too!
Being a South Indian I have eaten lemon rice all my life. It is a very simple recipe, but very commonly eaten for breakfast, lunch or for travel.
Traditionlly white rice is used to make lemon rice but today I have replaced it with millets.
Millets is a gluten free grain with slightly nutty flavor and are packed with protein and fiber. This ancient grain is fairly simple to cook and is a great substitute for white rice or brown rice.
To make Millet lemon rice, cooked millets are tossed in a tempering of mustard seeds, dal, ginger, green chilly, curry leaves, peanuts and asafotieda. Turmeric is added to give that beautiful pale color and a generous amount of lemon juice is added for the tang.
Any kind of millet can be used in this recipe, I have used foxtail millets.
This Foxtail Millet Lemon rice
- is so easy to make
- light and refreshing
- millets provide the protein and fiber
- its vegan and make it gluten free by skipping asafoetida
Cooking millets –
Cooking millets is very similar to cooking white rice. You can cook them in stove top, pressure cooker or instant pot. Please check out this post where I show different methods on how to cook millet.
Cooking millet in the Instant Pot-
Wash the millets two to three times, by rubbing them with your hand.
Add lots of water and soak the millets for 30 minutes to an hour. After an hour drain the water and transfer the millets to the instant pot..
Turn on the saute mode and toast the millets for a minute. After a minute cancel the saute mode and add 1 ¾ cup of water. Mix well making sure millets are not stuck on the side of the Pot.
Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing position. Press Pressure cook mode and adjust the time to 8 minutes.
Once done, wait for atleast ten minutes before releasing the pressure. Fluff the millets and use them as needed.
How to make Lemon Millets –
1- Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard pops, add the chana dal and urad dal. Fry for 30 to 45 seconds till the dal becomes pale brown.
2- Now add the slit green chili, ginger and curry leaves. Ginger is optional.
3- Add peanuts and saute for a minute to make them crunchy. If using toasted peanuts, skip this step. Just add the toasted peanuts, turmeric and asafoetda. Saute for 30 seconds.
4- Keep the flame in low and add the cooked millets and salt. Mix the millets till well incorporated.
5- Add the fresh lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves. Mix and check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
What kind of millet to use?
Any kind of millets like foctail millet, little millet can be used in the recipe.
Should the millets be soaked before cooking?
I highly recommend soaking the millet for an hour. If you cant do an hour do atleast 30 minutes. Soaking the millet remove phytic acid and it easy on your tummy and helps in better digestion.
Can I use bottle lemon juice?
Fresh lemon juice is recommended but if you don’t have lemons, bottled lemon juice works too.
What can I replace peanuts with?
Peanuts can be replaced with cashew. If you want to completely avoid nuts, add some green peas.
If you are looking for more millet recipes, try my vegetable millet salad.
More rice recipes –
I served the lemon millets with some baby carrots, snap peas and hummus to make a wholesome meal.
Lemon Millet rice
- 3 cups cooked millets I used foxtail millets
- 3 green chilly, slit or add to taste
- 2 tablespoon toasted peanuts
- ½ inch chopped ginger optional
- 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves rinsed and destemmed
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon chana dal
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch of asafoetida
- a generous squeeze of lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 table spoons of chopped coriander leaves
Cooking Millets in Instant Pot –
- Wash one cup of millets with tap water by gently rubbing it with hands. Wash it twice and soak the millets in fresh water for an hour.After an hour drain the water from the millets.
- Turn on the saute mode on your instant pot.Add the millet and toast them for a minute to 1 ½ minutes, not more than that. Keep stirring while toasting.The millet should get little plump but not brown. If the instant pot becomes too hot, turn it off and the heat in the pot will toast the millet.
- Cancel the saute mode and add 1 ¾ cup of water. Mix well making sure millet are not stuck on the side of the Pot.Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing position. Press Pressure cook mode and adjust the time to 8 minutes.after 8 minutes, wait for atleast ten minutes before releasing the pressure.
- After ten minutes, you may still have little pressure left, you can release it manually.At this point you can add a tea spoon of oil and little salt. Both these ingredients are optional. Fluff the millet and enjoy as needed.
Making Millet Lemon Rice –
- Heat oil In a large skillet and place over medium heat. Wen the oil is heated add mustard seeds and let them pop.
- Add the chana dal and urad dal and saute until light brown, about 45 seconds. Make sure not to burn the lentils.
- Add the slit green chilly, ginger and curry leaves. saute for 30 seconds.
- If using raw peanuts, add them now and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- If you are using toasted peanuts, just add them along with turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the 3 cups of cooked millets and salt and toss it gently until the millets turn yellow and the tempering is fully coated to them.
- Switch off the flame and add the lemon juice and coriander leaves.
- stir to combine and check for seasoning. Enjoy as is or with some salad.
- Tastes best at room temperature.