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Viji Varadarajan

The Story

Divine food prepared by temple priests.

A traditional dish treated and prepared as divine food in the temples. Passed on through generations of grandmothers, this is one of the rice dishes among many prepared by the temple priests and offer...

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A fabulously tasting tangy rice and quite a simple dish to prepare. This rice dish is a one pot meal. The traditional variety in a south Indian home is truly endless. Do try it. Its simplicity surprises you endlessly! Note - the salt, lemon / lime juice and chillis can and should be added to individual preferences. It is as mild or strong as one would prefer. All ingredients are available and can be sourced in the Indian / Asian groceries.
Servings 5
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins



  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 whole lemons or limes (juice)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida / hing powder
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp bengal gram / chana dal
  • 3 whole green chillis (chopped)
  • 14 medium curry leaves


  • Cook the rice in a deep pan in 2½ cups of water until done. The rice should be grainy and not mushy. Set aside to cool.
  • Heat 2 tbsps of oil and pop the mustard.
  • Add the bengal gram and stir until they turn golden.
  • Add the green chillis and stir for 2-3 seconds.
  • Switch off, adding the hing powder, washed curry leaves, turmeric powder, salt and the lemon / lime juice.
  • Add the cooled grainy rice to this pan and mix them all gently together as you do not want the cooked grains to break.
  • Serve with popadams or rice crispies.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian

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