Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lemon Cashew Rice

Tonight I decided to make Indian food and wanted to make lemon cashew rice as my starch course. This dish is traditionally higher in fat. My version is healthier but doesn’t compromise the flavor. This version is a blend of a 5 recipes from Indian cookbooks I own.

Turmeric is one of those spices that have been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s as well as being anticarcinogenic. In “Anticancer” I read that turmeric is more readily absorbed when it is sautéed in a little oil and with a good quantity of black pepper.

Lemon Cashew Rice
Serves 6


2 cups brown basmati rice
4 cups water
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
15 curry leaves
½ cup cashews
2 teaspoons turmeric
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, zested and juiced


Cook rice and water until tender (45 minutes on top of the stove or 18 minutes in a pressure cooker). Allow rice to stand for 10 minutes covered before opening the lid. During this time make the spice paste.

Sauté the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and cashews in the canola oil until the cashews begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Then add the turmeric and black pepper to taste and cook another minute or two then turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and stir to combine.

Combine the spice paste with the rice and mix, trying not to mash the rice grains.

Serve hot.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 333.06
Calories From Fat (25%) - 84.22

Total Fat - 9.93g
Saturated Fat - 1.65g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 18.38mg
Potassium - 457.29mg
Total Carbohydrates - 54.64g
Fiber - 2.96g
Sugar - 1.47g
Protein - 7.89g


Both the men at dinner tonight thought this was the best dish on the table. This rice is packed with flavor. It has a burst of lemon flavor and the cashews add a nice change in texture to the dish. I reduced the fat considerably from the traditional versions of this rice that I saw but 25% calories from fat was the lowest I could get without completely changing the dish. If you are looking for an acidic rice dish this one is quite good. This rice could stand on its own in terms of flavor.

If you don’t have access to fresh curry leaves I would substitute fresh coriander. I am certain that it is not traditional but the flavors work together. If you want to obtain curry leaves check your local Indian grocery store. The leaves are very inexpensive at the Indian store where I found them.


  1. om gosh that looks good. it looks like the saffron rice that comes in those gold colored packets from the store????but without msg and lots of other junk!!! have to try this

  2. Michelle,

    Thanks! The saffron rice in packages frequently uses turmeric for the yellow color because it is cheaper than saffron. So ... this is similar. However this rice is very lemony. Some of the recipes I have seen for this rice also include peanuts but I prefer it with all cashews.

    I have also put parsley in this when I didn't have curry leaves or cilantro. Parsley is good, just different.



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