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Easy Indian Lemon Rice

Indian Lemon Rice

Classic, Indian Lemon Rice inspired from the traditional South Indian cuisine but made in the instant pot for a quick yet flavorful result.
5 from 16 votes
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Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: 30-minute vegan dinner, dairy-free, easy vegan seitan, Indian instant pot, instantpot recipes, southindian lemon rice, vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 315kcal
Author: Sophie


  • Instant pot


  • 2 cups Basmati Rice (Washed, rinsed and soaked in 2 cups of filtered water)
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 tbsp Chana dal or Bengal Gram lentils
  • 1 tbsp Urad dal or Skinned Black Gram
  • 1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 Dry red chilies
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 3-4 Green chilies (Slit)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Grated ginger
  • 1/2 Red Onion Sliced length-wise
  • 1 Lemon or 2 lime juiced


  • 1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro


  • 1 tsp for 1 cup of rice
  • 2 tsp for 2 cups of rice
  • 1 tsp Ghee Garnish only (optional)


  • Wash and rinse the rice. Soak it in an equal amount of water and set it aside.
  • Click on the sauté function of the instant pot and add a tsp of oil in the pot.
  • You can add more oil if you want. Add all items listed under the tempering section in the order listed.
  • Always remember to add curry leaves and green chilies after the seeds pop and wait for 30-seconds before adding ginger and sliced onions
  • Mix well and wait till the onions are lightly brown but not fully cooked. Add turmeric, salt, washed and rinsed rice and the water. Stir well.
  • Add half of the lime juice at this point and mix well. Now close the lid and seal the vent. Set the instant pot to the pressure cook mode and add 4 minutes of cooking time. After the beep, wait for the natural pressure release and open the lid.
  • By using a fork, fluff the rice and add lime or lemon juice. Add roasted peanuts and chopped cilantro. Gently mix the rice. Serve hot with any Indian side.


  • NOTE: You can add two tablespoon of chopped cilantro while cooking and it will have a fresh, herby flavor.
  • Add 1 tsp of ghee (vegan or vegetarian) after the rice cooks. It enhances the flavor.
  • You can skip roasted peanuts and add roasted cashew to the dish.


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 43mg | Fiber: 2g