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Cauliflower Lemon “Rice”

I did it! I jumped on the cauliflower bandwagon and substituted the rice in my favorite South Indian dish. It was actually delicious and I didn’t miss the rice or the added carbs.

Lemon rice is a traditional South Indian dish where they take rice and temper it with curry leaves, peanuts, cashews, black mustard seeds, urad dal, dry red chilies and of course lemon juice. The yellow color comes from adding turmeric to the rice.

I normally LOVE eating this but hate the added calories and carbs. I am always trying to keep my weight down. Along comes the super vegetable, cauliflower! Cauliflower is the answer to most carb loaded dishes like pizza and fried rice. You can buy a head of cauliflower or most grocery stores are already selling it broken up in pieces known as riced cauliflower. Either way the outcome is delicious.

Here is how I make it:

Cauliflower Lemon "Rice"

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30


  • 2-3 tbs oil
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups, riced cauliflower or 2 heads of cauliflower, crumbled in a food processor
  • 2-3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice



In a wok, heat up oil until hot. Add peanuts and fry until browned. Lower heat if it starts to burn.


Remove peanuts from wok, and set aside on a plate.


In the same warm wok, add urad dal, curry leaves and red chilies. Stir until urad dal is cooked. Make sure to add more oil if needed. Remove and set aside in the plate with the peanuts.


Now add spices except salt. Cook for about a minute until the spices are toasted.


Add cauliflower to the wok. Toss the cauliflower with the spices and cook until cauliflower is soft but not mushy. About 10 minutes. Lower heat if needed.


Once the cauliflower is cooked, add back all ingredients from the plate, along with lemon juice and salt.


Adjust seasonings for salt and lemon if needed.


Serve with papad.

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