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Instant Pot Lemon Rice – Lemon Rice Recipe

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Instant Pot Lemon Rice – Lemon Rice Recipe made in an instant pot is the perfect definition of comfort food. It is characterized by high carbohydrate levels, is delicious, and is super easy to prepare. Seriously you can whip it up in minutes. It is a perfect mid-week meal. When I am running out of ideas on what to make, I usually make lemon rice. It’s a great lunch box item for my kids as well.

Lemon rice is a very popular south Indian dish. It is made by seasoning the rice with mustard seeds, stir-fried lentils, peanuts, curry leaves, red and green chili peppers, and lemon juice. The yellow color is obtained by adding ground turmeric. People often modify the traditional recipe and add garlic and onions. Lemon rice is usually eaten plain or with yogurt, raita (yogurt with raw or cooked vegetables), pickle, salad, or chutney. (Chutney is a cold sauce made from vegetables, cilantro, and spices).

How are we going to make Instant Pot Lemon Rice – Lemon Rice Recipe?

In the traditional recipe the rice is cooked and the tempered ingredients are added to the rice. In this instant pot version we are going to make a one pot simple quick meal.

I like to make this dish with long grain Basmati rice.

The tempering ingredients needed for this recipe are: mustard seeds, raw cashew nuts, ginger – minced, green chili peppers (serrano peppers), skinless black gram lentil (urad dal) split chickpeas lentil (chana dal), whole dried red chili peppers, curry leaves (kadi patta), and asafoetida.


I used salted and roasted planters peanuts. Since they were already roasted I added them in the end. If you don’t have roasted peanuts you can use raw skinless peanuts and throw them in with the raw cashew nuts and sauté them.

Lemon juice: 

I use the the store bought  bottled lemon juice for the convenience factor. You can use either freshly squeezed lemon juice or store bought…..whichever works better for you.

Finally, close the lid and select manual for 22 minutes. Lastly, quick release the pressure. Serve hot.

Check out some of my other rice recipes:

Instant pot brown rice channa pulao

Instant pot lemon rice

Instant pot cumin peas coconut rice


Instant Pot Lemon Rice – Lemon Rice Recipe

Lets get to making this awesome lemon rice!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rice soaking time (included in prep time) 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4




  • Rinse and slit the serrano peppers (green chili peppers) lengthwise into two halves.
  • Rinse the basmati rice well. Then soak the rice in water for 15 minutes. Discard the water before cooking.
  • Rinse and finely chop the cilantro.


  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
  • Add oil or ghee to the pot.
  • When the pot is hot add the mustard seeds, black gram lentil (urad dal), and split chickpeas (chana dal).
  • When the mustard seeds splutter add the curry leaves, asafoetida, ginger, cashew nuts, whole dried red chili peppers, and Serrano peppers. Stir and sauté for 30 seconds. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well.
  • Add the rice and water and stir well.
  • Add ground turmeric, salt, and lemon juice. Mix
  • Press cancel.
  • Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. 
  • When cooking is complete, let the pressure naturally for 9 minutes.  
  • Then use quick pressure release to depressurize.
  • Open the lid.
  • Transfer the rice in a serving bowl.
  • Add roasted peanuts, cilantro and additional lemon juice (this is optional if you like your food extra tangy). Gently use a spoon to fluff the rice.


  • Serve hot as is or with with yogurt, raita, pickle, salad, or chutney.


  • This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
  • All the ingredients can be easily found in an Indian grocery store or on amazon.
Keyword Easy Instant Pot Lemon Rice, Easy Lemon Rice, Instant Pot Lemon Rice, Lemon Rice
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My name is Shilpa Tiku. I am a foodie and love experimenting with different cuisines. Originally a Kashmiri, born in Mumbai and currently live in Dallas.

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