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June 23, 2014


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Karnataka chitranna recipe

This is my first post on Karnataka recipes. As you all know, Chitrannam/Chitranna is a very popular breakfast/lunch recipe in Karnataka houses. Here people make this for all occasions and poojas. Not just in houses, this would be the breakfast recipe you can find in most of the small roadside hotels apart from thatte idli. I have tasted this chitranna with avalakki(poha) and Mandakki (puffed rice) in Davangere benne dosa stall.

Chitranna is nothing but our South indian variety rice with slight variations. They call it as Nimbe hannu chitranna for lemon rice. It can be made very quickly and its a tasty lunch box recipe too. Most of the kids in school bring this rice for their lunch box. I am really happy to share this most popular Chitranna recipe (recipe with my name) as my first Karnataka recipes post. 

The recipe I have shared here tastes close to the ones that is served in restaurants here. I have also shared a coconut chutney recipe in the “Notes” section which is the side dish served in road side hotels for Chitranna. In small hotels, I have seen people having this chitranna with coriander leaves chutney and Besan Bonda for breakfast. So I too served in the same way. It was awesome. Sendhil loved it a lot.

Nimbehannu chitranna recipe
Before going to this recipe, I would like to mention about my Kannadiga friends, without them this post wouldn’t have come up.

I have been in Bangalore for 8 years but I have not even blogged a single Karnataka recipe. I feel so bad for this. The reason behind this is I have not tasted typical Karnataka food in hotels or in friend’s places and I did not get a good source to teach me all their recipes too. We had tried several times to visit MTR & Vidyarthi bhavan which are very famous restaurants here. But by seeing the crowd, we step out each time.

Last year I got some 6 good kannadiga friends. We met & became friends in Raksha’s school. As all of them are mom’s of Raksha’s class mates, we used to discuss about school, studies, food, movies etc and we have a group named “School moms” in Watsapp too. They all cook authentic Karnataka recipes like ragi mudde, bisibelebath, Thatte idli etc very well .They know about my food blog & suggest me some good recipes to try. I am really lucky and proud to get those friends.

Earlier I used to speak butler kannada and now my language has much improved just because of them. Not just the language, I explored Bangalore only becoz of my friends. We used to go to famous hotels, malls, chaat shops etc during vacations and weekends. Now I thoroughly enjoy my life in Bangalore because of these sweet souls. I wanted to write about them in one of my blog post for a long time but I feel this post would be apt to mention about these wonderful people. Here is the picture of my friends.

My friends
From left- Nagalakshmi, Priya, Padmini, Archana, Megha(with baby) and Thara(right side corner) in the second picture.

I have already told much about Megha in my peanut chutney & aloo paratha posts who is very close to my heart. This Chitranna recipe is also from Megha. Thanks a lot dearie.

I will mention about my other friends in my upcoming Karnataka recipes post. With all these great resources, I had started venturing Karnataka recipes & I have planned to post them once in a week. Wish me good luck  friends. Ok,without much blah blahss, let me proceed how to make this yummy, easy chitranna recipe..

Chitranna recipe

Chitranna recipe How to make Karnataka style nimbehannu chitranna /Lemon rice recipe
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Lunch
Serves: 3
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 20 Minutes

1 cup - 250ml

  • Raw rice- 1/2 cup(Sona masoori rice)
  • Big onion - 1 no(small sized, skip onions if making for pooja)
  • Garlic cloves – 3 nos(finely chopped)
  • Green chillies - 4 nos
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
  • Grated coconut- 2 tbsp(optional)
  • Salt- as needed
  • Water - 2.5 cups
To temper
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Chana dal - 2 tsp
  • Roasted peanuts - 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Coriander leaves - to garnish

  • Wash and pressure cook the rice adding required water and a drop of oil in low flame for one whistle. Open the lid and spread the rice in a plate.. Allow it to cool. Rice should be separate.
  • Finley chop onions, green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves. Set aside .
  • In a kadai, heat oil and temper all the ingredients given above.
Chitranna step1
  • Now add onions, garlic, green chillies and saute till transparent. Add grated coconut (if using) & mix well. Add turmeric powder, salt, mix well and switch off the flame
Chitranna step2
  • Add this to the cooked rice and mix well. Add the required lemon juice and check for taste. Add more salt or lime juice if necessary.
Chitranna step3
  • Finally garnish with lots of coriander leaves and enjoy serving hot.


  • U can try this recipe with leftover rice too.
  • U can make this as a no onion, no garlic version by omitting these two ingredients. In that case, you must add grated coconut and serve. U can prepare this way for occasions and festivals.
  • For chutney: Grind 1/2 cup of grated coconut, 3 tbsp of fried gram dal, 3-4 green chillies, salt, little turmeric powder, a pinch of tamarind, 3 garlic cloves adding water. Adjust consistency as per your need. Usually it is served in watery consistency in hotels.

Enjoy this chitranna with green chutney and bonda !
Chitranna recipe

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Unknown said...

Hi Chitra,gud presentation n one of my favourite breakfast recipe. Or Wats app group name is nice school mom's u rock,n nice pic.

Chitra said...

Thank u so much Swathi :)

AparnaRajeshkumar said...

very good info about the recipe,happy that chutney accompany well with the rice.:D good one

Unknown said...

Wonderful recipe.. Rice looks delicious and yummy!

Sundari Nathan said...

Looks awesome, Love it!!

great-secret-of-life said...

looks so tasty .. it is in my to do list for long time

Unknown said...

good first post on Karnataka cuisine.. lovely click..eager to see many more posts ...
This is almost the authentic nimbehannu chitranna..Just a small info: usually in brahmins nimbehannu chitranna, garlic is not added .Also onions are optional.. Being a Kannadiga,thought will tell .. hope you dont mind..

nandoos kitchen said...

Looks yumm.. Wish I could take that plate out..

Chitra said...

Yeah smitha,my frnd told.For pooja n occasions they don't add.They add coconut in place of onions and garlic.Thanks dear for the info:).I am happy i can try some karnataka recipes from ur blog too :)

Gauri said...

Hi Chitra,
Nice recipe and nice to know about your friends and your whatsapp group :) Keep sharing!!!
I have tried this rice at my masi's place... she makes amazing Bisibelebhaat too :)

Chitra said...

Thanks Gauri :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting Karnataka recipe.. Feel like tasting

Rafeeda AR said...

I totally agree... to learn authentic food, we have to learn it from first hand sources... :) the rice looks delicious... awesome clicks as usual....

Anonymous said...

small it priya mam,toddler bay,next to second pic?

Chitra said...

Hi Srilakshmi , Yes it is priya.But not of toddler bay.She is running a beauty parlour :)

Unknown said...

My hubby's favourite because he lived there for b'lore for15 years after marriage we lived in mysore for 4 years and learnt some karnataka style of cooking

Chitra said...

Thank u so much Gomathy Kumar :) Good to know abt you.Share some Karnataka recipes with me to my mail id :)

Unknown said...

Hi Chitra, Thanks for a fab recipe, as I remember it, Chitranna is made without lemon juice and ground fresh coconut is sprinkled on top for garnish. Also a chopped tomato is to be fried lightly along with the onions and garlic. But that's probably the Davangere version. Try serving it with fried baby potatoes, it's a great combo. Cheers.

Chitra said...

Thanks for the recipe. I will try this way :)

Unknown said...

Hii... Thank you so much for this delicious recipe, it turned out very tasty, I am a North Indian recently married into a kannadiga family, this is my husband's one of the favourites.

Unknown said...

Hii... Thank you so much for this delicious recipe, it turned out very tasty, I am a North Indian recently married into a kannadiga family, this is my husband's one of the favourites.

Unknown said...

Hii... Thank you so much for this delicious recipe, it turned out very tasty, I am a North Indian recently married into a kannadiga family, this is my husband's one of the favourites.

Chitra said...

Thank you so much for the feedback. It made my day !