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Lemon Fried Rice

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This lemon fried rice recipe is sure to get your restaurant quality results!

If you like lemon fried rice, you are in for a treat with this recipe. It’s a step up from what is served at most curry houses, with a south Indian influence. This lemon fried rice goes well with any curry but is also delicious on it’s own.

Lemon fried rice

About this lemon fried rice recipe.

Lemon fried rice is on the menu of so many great curry houses. I love it and order it often when I’m out. It goes so well with most of my favourite curries.

The great news is that it’s really quite easy to make. The key to success is ensuring you use cold cooked basmati rice. Hot cooked rice will stick and could become a bit mushy.

Be sure to cut the lemon rind quite thin or it will be a bit bitter. You can see how I did it from the picture below.

If you try this one, be sure to let me know what you think. I hope you agree, this one is just like the lemon rice you get at the best Indian restaurants!



Step by step photos

Ingredients for lemon fried rice.

Get you ingredients together before you start cooking for a more enjoyable cooking experience.

Melting ghee in a large frying pan.

Melt the ghee in a large frying pan.

Adding the mustard seeds and lentils to the hot ghee.

Stir in the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, stir in the urid dal lentils.

Adding lemon zest and curry leaves to the pan.

Toast the lentils in the hot ghee until golden brown and then add the lemon zest and curry leaves. Stir into the hot ghee.

Adding cooked rice to the pan.

Add the cooked rice and stir it gently into the ghee mixture.

Finishing off the lemon fried rice in the pan.

Continue gently stirring until the rice is coated with the ghee mixture and piping hot to serve.

Lemon fried rice

Enjoy as a side with your favourite curry!



Yield: 2 - 4

British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Lemon Fried Rice

Lemon fried rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp white split urid dal
  • 20 curry leaves
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500ml (2 cups) cold cooked basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp coriander (cilantro), finely chopped.


  1. Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When visibly hot, stir in the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, stir in the urid dal and curry leaves.
  2. Stir these ingredients around in the ghee to flavour it and then add the lemon zest and fry it for a further 30 seconds.
  3. Now add your cooked rice and move it around gently in the pan until completely coated with the ghee mixture. Continue frying to heat it through, being careful not to stir too vigorously.
  4. Squeeze in the lemon juice and continue frying and gently stirring until the rice is heated through. Try some and add salt to taste.
  5. Stir in half of the finely chopped coriander (cilantro) and garnish with the rest to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 586mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

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