Lime rice, lemon rice or elumichai sadam is one of the simplest variety rices in T.N. It's undoubtedly one of the easiest to make and a very common lunch in the state. Since the meal is flavourful and tasty by itself, no accompaniments are needed and hence this serves a regular pack away meal for the school / office goers.
This had again perhaps been the first dish I learnt as a married girl from my husband's granma, who used to make the tastiest 'elumichampazha sadam' extra spiced and all soaked in 'nallennai'. The whole family loved to savour the large morsels she used to offer when each of us passed by the kitchen :)
Sathish, one of my charming seniors in college those days, well connected with me in fb presently, had been requesting to post this recipe so that he can have his better half, Swapna, make for him. Inspite of bunches of colourful varied recipes of lime rice posted all along the net by the connoisseurs of the country, he insisted for the recipe from me! It had been many months since he wanted this :)
Lime Rice / Lemon Rice
2 cups cooked rice ( raw rice or white basmati )
4 tsps lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp salt (mix it with lime juice and keep aside)
1 tbsp of sesame / gingelly seed oil / nallennai
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
2 tsps peanuts (small variety)
1 tsp bengal gram dal / kadalai paruppu
2 green chillies- slit lengthwise and sliced across, once
1 red chilly- broken into 3 pcs
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Heat oil in a wide pan. Splutter mustard seeds( pic-1), followed by peanuts and bengal gram dal (2). Throw in the urad dal (3) and swtich off the fire. The heat in the pan will be enough to brown them. I prefer to add urad dal after frying the peanuts and bengal gram dal in this recipe unlike the regular seasoning which calls for urad dal just after the mustard seeds. If you add urad dal before the pea nuts, they might get over browned or charred by the time the nuts get roasted. When the urad dal gets the golden colour, switch on the flame to minimum and throw in the green chillies and red chilly (4).
Saute and add the curry leaves (pic-5). Mix and add the turmeric powder (6). Add the salted lime juice (7) Mix the salt in it before hand or else you will end up burning the seasoning if you do it at this point. Combine the mixture (8).
Add the cooked rice breaking lumps if any, gently while you combine the seasoning.
Check salt at this point and add a tsp of sesame seed oil if it's too dry. you should see oil sticking to your finger tips when you touch the rice gently. While doing the taste test, remember to have the lime rice to be on a little tangy, salty and spicy on the next level coz the extra zing settles down while it seeps in into the cooked rice grains. So it will be rightly spiced and flavoured when you savour it after an hour or two.
->Yes, you need a bit extra oil for lime rice. Gingelly seed oil is preferred for this recipe for the authentic flavour and is also healthier. So no worries about the extra addition.
->Raw rice works good. I used left over Basmati :). You can also go ahead with any rice which is left over but see to it that the grains stay separate. Mushy /overly cooked rice spoils the taste!
->Tastes best if prepared before 1-2 hours thus giving some time for the seasoning to seep well into the rice.
-> Fry the peanuts well so it retains the crunchiness. If you already have fried peanuts, you may mix in along adding directly while combining with the seasoning.
-> A perfect pack-away lunch. Has a better shelf life than the other mixed rice varieties. Stays well for 12-16 hours in Indian standard temperatures if spiced up well enough.
-> No accompaniments are required for lime rice. If you are particular, enjoy with salted potato chips and plain yogurt.
Sathish, this post is dedicated to you and your lovely family!