Nimmakaya Pulihora, Elumichai Sadam, Lemon Rice

Nimmakaya Pulihora, Elumichai Sadam, Lemon Rice
Nimmakaya Pulihora, Elumichai Sadam, Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice or Nimmakaya Pulihora is a perennial favourite in my family. Known as Elumichai Sadam in Tamil Nadu, this rice dish has also become a favourite with my colleagues at work. So popular in fact, that they request it for every pot luck. Me thinks many on my team feel this is all I can cook!

In fact, every festive meal in Andhra will always have some version of Pulihora; be it with Nimmakaya or Lemon, Chintapandu or Tamarind, Mammidikaya or Raw Mango, or even Gongura.

How to Make Nimmakaya Pulihora, Elumichai Sadam, or Lemon Rice


  1. Rice – 1 Cup
  2. Lemon Juice – 3-4 tbsp
  3. Rai/Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  4. Udad Dal/Split Black Gram – ½ tsp
  5. Chana Dal/Split Green Gram – ½ tsp
  6. Peanuts – ¼ cup
  7. Turmeric – ½ tsp
  8. Curry Leaves – 10-12
  9. Red Chillies – 4 to 5
  10. Salt – To taste
  11. Til/Gingelly Oil – 3 tbsp


  1. Cook rice as usual.
  2. Spread warm rice out in a plate.
  3. Drizzle about 2 tbsp oil on the rice.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Add salt, turmeric, and curry leaves to the rice.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Heat the remaining oil till it is medium hot.
  8. Add mustard seeds to it.
  9. When the mustard seed sputter, add Udad dal and Chana dal.
  10. Fry till light brown.
  11. Add peanuts and fry till they start to split.
  12. Add split red chillies and fry for a few seconds.
  13. Add to the rice and mix well.
  14. Squeeze the lemon over the rice and mix well.
  15. Let the rice “sit” for at least one hour before eating.


  • The Nimmakaya Pulihora may taste khatta/sour if eaten immediately, but the lemon juice gets absorbed with time.
  • If you add “just enough” lemon when making Lemon Rice, it will become bland later.
  • If you like your food spicy, crush the fried red chillies before mixing in rice.

Add 2 tbsp Nuvvula Podi to lemon rice and taste the difference!


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I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.