Instant Pot Lemon Rice

Instant Pot Lemon Rice

  • Author: My Heart Beets
  • Yield: 4 1x


This popular South Indian rice dish is light, tangy and refreshing. The citrus flavor in the rice really comes through. You can eat this for breakfast, as a snack or as part of a meal. I enjoy eating lemon rice with a side of yogurt and Indian pickles.


  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 1530 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon split chickpeas (chana dal)
  • 1 tablespoon split and skinless black lentils (split and skinless urad dal)
  • ⅓ cup raw peanuts*
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 1 Serrano pepper or green chili, slit but intact, adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional
  • 1 cup water


  1. Soak the basmati rice in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Drain the water, rinse and set aside.
  2. Press the sauté button, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the mustard seeds, split chickpeas, split/skinless black lentils. After 1-2 minutes, or once the lentils turn golden in color, add the raw peanuts and stir-fry.
  3. Add the curry leaves, Serrano pepper, ginger, coriander powder, salt and turmeric. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add lemon juice, lemon zest, water and rice. Mix well.
  4. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  5. Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.


  • *I prefer using raw peanuts in this dish, which can easily be found at any Indian grocery store or online. You can use roasted peanuts or cashews instead, just wait to add them in with the spices.