Lemon Rice: Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners


Welcome to the third installment of Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners. It’s a new series here at San Francisco Bay Area Moms, where my friend Sujaya teaches me how to cook Indian food. She’s not just sharing her recipes. She’s teaching me the habits of being a home chef. For instance, she makes sides to last a few days. She makes things she can re-make into other things and always has a plan.

This week I visited her home, and she had pre-made rice that she showed me how to turn into lemon rice for an easy side dish. She had it for lunch and added it to her dinner plan. It was delicious!

The biggest thing I’ve learned in three weeks is how to temper spices. Here’s a pic of the process.

Lemon Rice Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners
Lemon Rice Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners

Try it out and tag us!

Lemon Rice: Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners

Lemon Rice

Cooking with Sujaya: Indian Cooking for Beginners
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Rice Cooker This saves time, but not at all necessary. You can make the rice in a pot on the stove.


  • 2 cups cooked rice Make this ahead of time
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice fresh or bottled
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 2 tsp chana dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 pinch Hing
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • salt to taste


  • First, temper your spices by adding the spices in a frying pan. Start by heating the oil until it shimmers. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, red chilies and allow to splutter. Once the spluttering ends, add the Hing and turmeric, mix and turn off the flame. In a bowl, add the rice, the lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of salt. Pour the tempered spices and oil into the rice and mix. Adjust the salt according to your taste.
Keyword Cooking for Beginners, Easy Rice, Indian Cooking, Indian Rice, Indian Spices, Pressure cooker, Rice, Tempered Spices, White Rice
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Olga Rosales Salinas is Managing Editor for San Francisco Bay Area Moms. As a freelance writer and journalist, her articles have been published nationally by palabra, National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Other bylines have appeared in Voices of Monterey Bay, Jumble & Flow and various others. Her debut collection of poetry and prose, La Llorona, was published by Birch Bench Press in August of 2021. In 2019 her philanthropy began with a non-profit benefiting first-generation and immigrant students, The Rosales Sisters' Scholarship. She has had spotlights in the following podcasts and radio stations; THINK/NPR with Krys Boyd, Los Sotelos Podcast, The Hive Poetry Collective @ksqd.org, Walk the Talk Podcast, "Making a Difference with Sheetal Ohri" on Bolly 92.3 FM, and Roll Over Easy @BFFdotFM Radio.


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