Lemon rice with spiced lamb meatballs

This lemon rice recipe creates a versatile side dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold. Serve with homemade spiced lamb meatballs for a delicious weeknight meal that's ready in under an hour

By Sophie Gray
  • 5 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in Food magazine.
Follow Food on Facebook and Instagram..


Lemon rice
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chilli
  • 1 tablespoon dried curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • chutney or mint raita, to serve (optional)
Lamb meatballs
  • 500 gram lamb mince
  • 1 slice of bread, made into crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chilli
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder


Lemon rice
  • 1
    Make the lamb meatballs (see below).
  • 2
    Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add cumin and mustard seeds and cook until popping. Add ginger, garlic, spices, curry leaves if using, rice, lemon juice and zest. Stir, then add stock and salt, and bring to the boil.
  • 3
    Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, and toss through the peanuts. Serve topped with the meatballs, with chutney or mint raita, if desired.
Lamb meatballs
  • 4
    Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or processor, then roll into meatballs. Thread onto skewers, if you like. Fry, grill or bake at 190°C for 20 minutes.


  • Serves 4-6. - Lemon rice is a versatile side dish, and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Try the leftovers cold for lunch with tuna or shredded chicken. - Raita is a cooling, yoghurt-based sauce. Make a minty raita by combining ½ cup natural yoghurt with a handful of chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon. PER SERVE (6) Energy 414kcal, 1737kj • Protein 22.8g • Total Fat 14g • Saturated Fat 3g • Carbohydrate 47g • Fibre 3g • Sodium 829mg