Lemon rice – Instant pot

Lemon rice – Instant pot

Lemon rice or Nimmakaya Pulihora is a simple rice dish flavored with lemon juice or lime juice. It is so easy to make with a few ingredients and it is a staple in south Indian household for festivities and occasions. It is also a famous prasadam in Temples.


You can use lemon juice or lime juice but personally most of the time I make it with lime juice 🙂 as the kick is so good.! It makes a great picnic food, road trips or for potlucks as the preparation is very easy.

In the tempering chana dal and urad dal is generally used but I omit them often as my husband don’t prefer them in the Rice. You can eat the lemon rice as it is or with some yogurt and appadams.

Cashews and Peanuts are used in the tempering, you can choose either of them. I used both cashews and peanuts 🙂 Lemon rice makes a perfect dish for tiffin box or lunch box. It is so flavorful and tasty that even kids like it.

Check out my list of must have instant pot accessories  

For Stove top & Instant Pot: 

Lemon rice

  • 2 cups Rice
  • 4 cups Water
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice ((or lime juice))


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 inch ginger (chopped)
  • 2 green chili (slit)
  • 1 red chili (broken)
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 2 tsps Turmeric powder
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup Cashews + Peanuts ((optional but recommended))
  • 1 tsp Hing/Asafoetida
  1. Cook rice with salt and let it cool. If using pressure cooker then cook for 2 whistles ( or cook how you cook the rice regularly) 

  2. If using instant pot then use rice mode to cook the rice.

  3. Once the rice is cool, add the lemon juice and let it rest. This step is important as the rice will soak in the lemon juice.

  4. Now in a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, let the pop.

  5. Now add rest of the tempering ingredients and fry till aromatic and nuts are golden brown. 

  6. Now mix in the tempering with the lemon juice soaked rice. 

  7. You can serve immediately or wait for 1 or 2 hours to let the flavors soak in.

160 ml cup used for rice and water. 

Adjust lemon juice and spice to your taste. 

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