Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side

Lemon rice pilaf (nimbu bhath) at it’s best is just the right balance of salty, tart and spicy.  Prepared in the Instant Pot™, it’s a quick, delicious, vegan dish that’s packed with healthy protein.  It’s perfect as a snack, a satisfying light meal, or an elegant side.

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side | cookglobaleatlocal.comWhen I was growing up, vegetarianism (or veganism) was an outlier.  It existed on the fringes of “normal” society.  This unusual lifestyle seemed to me to be the domain of hippies and beatniks.  In fact, it was so alien that I remember vividly the first time I heard that people lived on (gasp!) vegetables alone.

I was eight years old when someone announced this obscure fact over supper one evening.  It made me laugh out loud — literally.  I couldn’t imagine a single dinner without meat — let alone an entire diet!  Pictures of stodgy platters of boiled carrots, whole grains, and overcooked green beans floated in my head.  Needless to say, it was distinctly unappealing.

So, years later, when I discovered the full range of Indian cuisine, it was a revelation.   I immediately understood that, not only could a pure vegetarian diet (or even a vegan one) be satisfying, it could also be incredibly varied and delicious.

In fact, living in Bangalore and New Delhi during my second pregnancy, I followed a strict vegetarian diet — and enjoyed every minute of it.  Who would have guessed?!

One of the vegan foods I fell in love with in Bangalore was this lemon rice pilaf (nimbu bhath).  It was a Sunday staple at home, mainly because it’s easy, and it’s every bit as delicious cold as it is hot.  Till this day, a bite of this simple rice sends me into ecstasies.

Protein and the vegan diet

Now that my husband and I are pursuing a vegan diet, it occurs to me that this simple lemon rice pilaf is a treasure in more ways than one.  In addition to being delicious, it’s packed with healthy vegan proteins that are an important part of a balanced diet.

Inevitably, when the topic of veganism comes up in conversation, the subject of protein comes up.  Many people are concerned that a vegan diet couldn’t possible contain enough protein to sustain optimal human health.

Fortunately, this is a misnomer!  Elephants, rhinos, hippos, bison, and the world’s strongest man, Patrik Baboumian, are all vegans.  They’re thriving, and so can we!

The key to getting adequate protein is simply ensuring that you include a variety of vegetarian protein sources in your diet.  These include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried beans
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Oats
  • Wild rice
  • Amaranth and quinoa
  • Green peas
  • Hempseed, and
  • Nutritional yeast

This lemon rice pilaf contains nuts, and two types of dried beans (dal).  So, it’s the perfect addition to a healthy vegan or vegetarian diet.  It’s also delicious!  So, even if you’re not a full time vegetarian or vegan, this is a terrific side for a meatless day.

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side | cookglobaleatlocal.com

 

About this recipe

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side | cookglobaleatlocal.com
White urad dal

This is a very quick and easy recipe.  However, there are a couple of ingredients that may be unfamiliar if you’ve never prepared South Indian food. These are:

White urad dal

White urad dal is actually split black gram (a member of the mung bean family) whose skins have been removed, revealing their pearly white interior.  These beans are commonly toasted and used as a seasoning or fermented and used as an ingredient in batters for idlis, dosas, and the like.  They are readily available at many health food stores and at Indian grocers.

Asafoetida

Asafoetida is made from the rhizome of a plant in the celery family.  It is sold in powdered form, and is commonly used, both as a flavouring and as a replacement for garlic and onion (which are believed by some to inflame the passions).  Asafoetida is a common ingredient in South Indian cuisine, and is readily available at any Indian market.  This ingredient is an excellent digestive aid, and it’s critical to  achieve an authentic flavour profile.

Curry leaves

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side | cookglobaleatlocal.comNot to be confused with curry powder, curry leaves are a staple of South Indian cuisine.  The plant is actually a member of the citrus family, and its fragrant leaves add a distinctive flavour to most savoury dishes in South India.

Although they are an acquired taste for some, these fragrant leaves also tout a number of powerful health benefits.  They can improve heart function, fight infections, and are excellent for the skin and hair.  In fact, curry leaves have long been credited for delaying the onset of grey hair.

In South Africa, curry leaves are widely available at local supermarkets.  However, in other countries they are easily found at Indian markets.  The leaves freeze well.  So, don’t be daunted by buying a packet — even if you’ll just use them once in a while.

Finally, lemon rice pilaf contains peanuts.  To me, this is a critical component of the dish.  However, it’s entirely optional.  Should you, or a loved one, have a peanut allergy, feel free to eliminate the nuts entirely or use cashews instead.  Your rice will still be authentic and tasty!

I hope your family enjoys this delicious dish every bit as much as mine does.  Bon appétit!

Yum

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side | cookglobaleatlocal.com
Jeanette Marie
Rate this recipe
11 ratings
Save Recipe Save to BigOven
Yum
Category
Instant Pot, Rice, Vegan
Indian
Prep Time:  15 minutes - Cook Time:  15 minutes Servings:  4

Lemon rice pilaf (nimbu bhath) at it's best is just the right balance of salty, tart and spicy.  Prepared in the Instant Pot™, it's a quick, delicious, vegan dish that's packed with healthy protein.  It's perfect as a snack, a satisfying light meal, or an elegant side.


  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    To season the rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, preferably raw, with skins on
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried yellow split peas (channa dal)
  • 1 tablespoon white urad dal (dhulli urad dal)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 3-6 dried red chilies, broken
  • 1 stalk fresh curry leaves, removed from the stalk
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon), or to taste
    To garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander (leaves and stems), roughly chopped

  1. Rinse the basmati rice in 3-4 changes of water. Then, fill the bowl with water so that it covers the rice by an inch or two. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the dals in 3-4 changes of water. Drain, and set aside to dry.
  3. After 30 minutes, drain the rice. Add the soaked rice, water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to the liner of the Instant Pot™. Close the lid, and ensure the steam release handle is set to "Sealing". Press [Rice] on the pot. As soon as the rice is finished cooking, press [Cancel] and do a quick release. Leave the rice to rest in the pot (where it will stay warm), until you're ready for the final steps.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add the peanuts to the skillet and cook, shaking or stirring often, until the peanuts turn a deep, golden brown (5-6 minutes). Remove the peanuts from the skillet and set aside.
  5. Heat another tablespoon of canola oil in the same skillet set over medium heat. Add both dals to the skillet and toast until golden brown. Once the dals are golden, add the mustard seeds to the skillet, along with the dried red chilies. As soon as the mustard seeds start to splutter and pop, add the curry leaves and the asafoetida. Toast for about 1 more minute, or just until fragrant. Turn off the heat and stir in the turmeric. Set aside.
  6. Once the Instant Pot™ is de-pressurized, add the salt, lemon juice, peanuts and the contents of the skillet to the liner. Fold the rice gently (so as not to break it), until it is well combined, being careful to eliminate any clumps as you go. Taste, and adjust salt and lemon juice, as needed.
  7. Turn out the rice onto a serving platter, scatter with the fresh coriander, and serve immediately.

  1. If you are allergic to peanuts, feel free to leave them out or substitute the same quantity of cashews.
  2. The rice may also be prepared in another pressure cooker.  Check your model for specifics, and adjust, as needed.

Nutrition Facts

Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side

Serves

Amount Per Serving
Calories 425
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29.16 g 44.9%
Saturated Fat 4.528 g 22.6%
Trans Fat .028 g
Cholesterol 0 0
Sodium 1453.45 mg 60.6%
Total Carbohydrate 41.19 g 13.7%
Dietary Fiber 13.6 g 54.4%
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 17.19 g
Vitamin A 624 IU Vitamin C 5.8 mg
Calcium 63 mg Iron 9.81 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

https://cookglobaleatlocal.com/lemon-rice-pilaf-from-the-instant-pot-a-quick-delicious-side/



3 thoughts on “Lemon Rice Pilaf from the Instant Pot™, A Quick Delicious Side”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.