Cookbook Profile

Lemon Pilaf

Serves 4


A subtly flavored and visually appealing lemon rice from South India brings forth the very essence of Indian summer. It is a good pilaf to serve with steamed and grilled fish and shellfish such as Steamed Fish in Herb Sauce.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafetida, or 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-1/2 cups cooked rice made with 1 cup raw rice
   (basmati, brown rice, or converted rice)
1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews
Coarse salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon minced green chiles (optional)
12 kari leaves, fresh or dried (optional)
1 firm, ripe mango, peeled, pitted,
   and diced into 1/2 inch pieces, for garnish (optional)


1. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with the lid because the seeds will pop and spatter. When the spluttering subsides, add the asafetida, turmeric, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons water and bring to a boil.

2. Stir in the rice, cashews, and salt, and the chiles and kari leaves, if using. Toss well until the rice is evenly seasoned.

3. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold, garnished with mango, if desired.


Julie Sahni's
Introduction to Indian Cooking

By Julie Sahni
Ten Speed Press
Paperback, $16.95
Full-color photo inserts
ISBN: 0-89815-976-8
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


Julie Sahni's
Introduction to Indian Cooking



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This page created January 1999