"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Friday, 23 January 2015

Lemon Rice with Paneer

Lemon Rice has always been one of my favourites since childhood. We had a live-in maid growing up and her name is 'Aleyamma'. She often made lemon rice. Though I never liked rice much, a heap full of lemon rice always brought a smile to my face and she made it sooo well. She was quite young so was more like a friend to us. She never hesitated making lemon rice for me whenever I asked as I was such a poor eater back then. I guess I always loved the tangy flavour of the rice and anything salted or tangy found its way in my good books back then.

Ever since I got married, my husband who has always followed all the Orthodox Christian lenten practices, had inspired me to follow the same. So that is 50 days of lent before Easter, 14 days in August before the Feast of Assumption of Our Blessed Virgin Mary, the 7 days before Mama Mary's birthday in September and the 24 days before Christmas.

I wanted to incorporate some protein in the Lemon Rice itself as I was not much in the mood for cooking. I had made some paneer which was in the freezer. So eureka moment I just thought of combining the two.

This is a super simple recipe so I recommend this for a lazy last day of the week or even a busy mid week meal.

You need:

  • 2 cups of  Cooked long grain or Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup of Paneer, cut into bite size or small cubes as preferred
  • A sprig of  Curry leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 whole dried Kashmiri Red Chilies, hand torn into pieces ( I left it whole as my toddler is anti-spice eater)
  • 1 tsp grated Ginger
  • 1 clove of crushed Garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Urad dal (split Black Lentils)
  • 1 tsp Chana dal (split Bengal Gram)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp Oil
  • Mint leaves, minced (optional)
  • Yoghurt (optional)

**(If you look at the minimal background carefully you can see my little one's angry birds' drinking glass! She was all ready to have her yellow rice. She loved it and her expressions reminded me of mine when I was as young as she was! Smiling from ear to ear ;-) )

The Make
Preparation time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 15-20 minutes (includes rice cooking time) | Serves : 4 adults

1. In a flat non-stick pan, drizzle and heat some oil. Add the paneer pieces. Pinch and spread some salt over the paneer cubes. Fry until lightly browned on both side.
2. Heat the oil in a large wok or non-stick pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
3.. Next add the curry leaves, followed by the Urad dal, Chana dal and saute well for a minute on medium-low heat.
4. Next add the crushed garlic, ginger, red chilies and saute for a minute.
5. Add the turmeric powder and slowly fold in the rice, taking care not to mash the rice on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Continue tossing.
6. Add the prepared paneer cubes and fold in and leave on heat for a minute folding well.
7. Add the salt, lemon juice and fold occasionally for another minute on medium-low heat.

Serve hot with a cup of yoghurt with some mint leaves on top on the side.


  1. Looks great and sounds yum. One query - did you soak the urad chana daals? The weekend is a good time to try this out.

    1. Hi Tulika. No soaking is required. Do let me know how it turned out.


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