“It’s My Life, My Journey, The World is My Oyster” Lemon Pulao/Rice

By Jackie DeKnock  ,   

October 23, 2015

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  • Yields: Serves 6


1 cup basmati rice

2 cups water or organic chicken stock (see package instructions for rice to liquid ratio)

Sea Salt, to taste

Lemon juice of 1 ½ lemons

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 whole dried red chili or generous pinch of red pepper chili flakes (depending upon how much heat you like)

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (substitute black mustard seeds)

2 teaspoons urad dahl** (split white lentils) (substitute pre-cooked yellow lentils)

2 tablespoons cashews, coarsely chopped

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

10 curry leaves, fresh or dried (similar flavour to a tangerine, substitute with basil)

Cilantro, coarsely chopped for garnish


Rinse the rice under cold water to remove any surface starch.

Place the rice in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Turn the heat up about medium-low and slowly toast the rice. Keep stirring the rice until you can smell it toasting and it turns a slight ‘toasted’ colour. Next, add the water or stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Once the liquid comes to a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Let cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes 15 Minutes, or according to the package instructions. Don’t be tempted to lift the lid (as many are) because it’s the condensation that is actually cooking the rice! Don't touch that pan...

Once done, remove from the heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes 10 Minutes. Taste rice to ensure that it’s cooked to your liking and gently fluff with a fork before serving. Don’t stir too much as this will cause the rice to ‘break’ – just gently fluff.

Add salt and lemon juice to the rice, gently mix well.

In a large, deep sauté pan, heat oil and wait for it to get hot. Once hot, add in the chili. Break the chili into the oil for additional spicy flavor. Add in the mustard seeds and let them pop and crackle. Add in the urad dahl (or cooked lentils) and cook 1 minute. Add in the cashews, turmeric, curry leaves (or basil)…in that order.

Add to the warm rice and gently mix well, stirring until the rice is heated all the way through. Garnish with cilantro and it is ready to serve!

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