South Indian Lime Rice Recipe

Lime rice. Prasanna Sankhe

Lime rice is one of those quick recipes that turns a boring leftover into a delicious dinner with minimal effort. You can have this dish by itself or served with poppadums. It's light, hearty, and has a wonderful mix of tangy and crunchy elements.

Lime rice is originally South Indian, but it has found its way into most homes across the country. The tempering of the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and chili impart a mild spiciness that compliments the sourness of the lime quite well. If you love tang, you could increase the amount of lime juice a tad. If you want to dress it up a little more, roasted cashew nuts can be tossed in during the tempering. And, if you have a weakness for coconut, you can add unsweetened coconut shreds as a garnish. It's the fact that it's so easy to customize that makes it one of my favorite meals.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 2 to 3 servings

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  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee

  • 2 Serrano chiles, slit in half lengthwise

  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon de-husked black lentils (urad dal)

  • 1 teaspoon split yellow gram (chana dal)

  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts

  • 8 curry leaves

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 recipe poppadom

  • Indian pickles


  1. Heat oil or ghee in the skillet over medium heat till shimmering. Add the slit chillis, stand back and stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Add mustard seeds, stir for a few seconds until they pop. In quick succession, add lentils, yellow gram, and roasted peanuts. Stir until the lentils turn a light brown, about 5 minutes. Add curry leaves. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add turmeric powder, stir for a few seconds, then add lime juice. Add a pinch of salt, stir turn off heat. Add the white rice and fold gently to keep rice intact until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the sugar. Serve hot with poppadom and indian pickles.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
336 Calories
12g Fat
52g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 552mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 7mg 35%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 503mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)