The best lemon coconut curry or lemon juice gojju or nimbe gojju that is easy and quick to make!
Just few basic pantry ingredients and can be made in 10 to 15 minutes. Its healthy tangy, sweet sour and spicy curry recipe. Indian style coconut based curry.
If you have not planned any dishes for your meal and want to make an instant side dish, check this recipe. Perfect for those busy weekday meal.
Its healthy aromatic coconut-based curry served with hot rice.
Lemony, zesty, this vegan curry is the best!!!
This is Karnataka’s malenadu or Western Ghats special Nimbe gojju prepared using freshly squeezed juice from big sized lemons.
This is a simple and quick curry recipe yet mouthwatering side dish. It is not tasty but also healthy with health benefits from lemon juice and coconut.
When my late grandmother used to make this nimbe gojju, I was a huge fan of it. Now my mother makes it every now and then. So, this is how I learnt this recipe from her. This time while making this curry I planned to document it in the blog.
This is true authentic curry with strong aroma of lemon juice.
Check a quick video of making lemon coconut curry and try this in your kitchen. If you have enjoyed the video do subscribe to Dice n Cook Youtube channel for more food videos.
- Health benefits of lemon
- Uses of lemon
- Why will you love this lemon coconut curry?
- How to best prepare this lemon coconut curry?
- How to make lemon coconut curry?
- Serving suggestions
- Storage suggestions
- Make ahead tips
- Recipe variations and substitutes
- Recipe notes
- Recipe Card
- Frequently asked questions
So, if you are wondering why make this simple curry, then check the numerous health benefits of lemons.
Health benefits of lemon
Lemons are powerhouse of many nutrients. They are rich source of Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.
Helps in bone health. It improves gut health by aiding in digestion. Lemon juice has shown to prevent kidney stones. They are rich source of folate.
Since lemon juice is high in vitamin C, they are great relief for soar throat as a great immune booster.
Lemon be it peel, or juice makes an important appearance in Indian and International cuisines.
Uses of lemon
Lemon is used in many Indian curries. It is used in salad dressing.
Lemon juice drink is a great summer refreshment.
The rinds are beneficial and used in many recipes. Lemon pickle is the most sort out pickles in South India.
Lemon rinds are used in many Indian style curry. There are numerous creative ways to preserve lemons for long time.
If you are looking for more curry recipes on blog, check these recipes.
Pigeon peas potato curry – It is an easy healthy vegan and glutenfree side dish.
Paneer Butter Masala – An easy to make creamy Indian gravy
Why will you love this lemon coconut curry?
This coconut-based lemon curry is
- Easy to make
- Quick recipe
- Dairy free
- Low carb
- Simple ingredients
- South Indian
- Karnataka recipe
- Plant based diet
- Vegetarian side dish
- No onion-garlic side dish
- Coconut based curry
- Great way to use lemon
How to best prepare this lemon coconut curry?
- Use highly aromatic well ripe lemons.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Do not add too much water, as it becomes more of a drink kind.
- Use room temperature lemon to squeeze the juice.
- Lemon juice should not be too tangy instead it should be aromatic.
- Use fleshy lemons to get maximum juice of it.
This is an easy simple recipe with basic pantry ingredients. Here’s everything you will need to make this
Fresh coconut – This gives texture and richness to the curry. I have used freshly grated coconut to make this curry. It also adds to the sweetness.
Mustard seeds – Raw mustard seeds adds to the aroma and nutty flavour to the curry. Use black mustard seeds to make this curry. For masala we use fresh mustard seeds and for tempering we use fried ones.
Red chilies – Bydagi red chilies are used in this recipe. It gives spiciness and bright hue to the curry. Add red chilies as per the tanginess of lemon juice. If you prefer more spiciness add few guntur red chilies with these.
The colour of the curry is mainly dependent on the red chilies used for masala. Its either dark orange or light in colour based on red chilies we use.
Lemon juice – This is the next important ingredient in this curry. Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice. The lemons used for juice should aromatic and lightly tangy. Use fleshy big lemon for the juice.
Jaggery powder – It gives earthy flavour with sweetness to curry. I have used organic jaggery powder. You can use any store brought jaggery. This curry is tangy and sweet, since we add lemon juice in more quantity, equal quantity of jaggery to counter the tanginess of lemon should be added. You can use finely powdered, since its easy to mix them in the curry.
Salt – Salt as per taste is added. Any salt can be used for this recipe.
Water – as required to adjust the consistency of curry.
Coconut oil – This is an important base ingredient in this recipe. Coconut oil gives aroma and flavour to the curry. I do not recommend any substitute for this oil particularly in this recipe.
Mustard seeds – Black mustard seeds are used for tempering the curry.
Urad dal – Deskinned split black gram or uddina bele is mostly used in tempering of curry in most of the South Indian curries. When they are fried to golden colour in coconut oil, gives nice aroma.
Curry leaves – Fresh green curry leaves is always a part of tempering to any South Indian curry. We also call it as karibevu in Kannada.
Mixer grinder to grind the coconut masala for curry.
A tempering pan for frying spices.
A mixing bowl to blend all the ingredients.
How to make lemon coconut curry?
Full step by step instructions and ingredient measurements can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
I will walk through this recipe step by step instructions and also watch the quick recipe video
Preparation for making this vegan curry:
Begin by nicely rubbing the lemon between the palm so that they release maximum juice. Cut them into two half and squeeze the juice and keep this aside until we grind.
Before grinding, we will roast red chillies in coconut oil for 1 to 2 minutes on low heat. This helps to make them crisp and helps in grinding into fine paste. Cool them before grinding.
Take freshly grated coconut, raw mustard seeds and roasted red chilies and grind them into fine paste using little water. I recommend make a fine paste using high speed mixer grinder.
If you wish to prepare it later, at this stage the ground masala can be refrigerated and used after two to three hours. Bring it room temperature and then temper it with coconut oil.
Now let’s add all the other ingredients and mix it.
To the ground coconut mustard masala add salt as per taste with jaggery powder. In this recipe we add more jaggery as we are adding more of lemon juice. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix all these well. The jaggery powder should dissolve in the curry.
The coconut-based curry is ready for tempering.
Tempering the curry:
Heat coconut oil in a tadka pan, on medium heat add mustard seeds. Fry well until it splutters.
Next add in urad dal, fry on medium heat until they become aromatic and golden.
Next is curry leaves, fry well until they become crisp and aromatic.
It’s all done, just pour the tempering to the coconut lemon curry, mix well and serve it. An amazing menu is ready!!
So what to serve with lemon coconut curry.
I love serving this curry with nicely cooked, soft sona masuri rice or rajmudi rice (red rice less polished). If you follow low carb diet, then serve it with quinoa or cauliflower rice.
You can also serve it with some coconut oil for extra aroma.
If you also serve it with dosa, flatbread or idly, then make the curry thicker than shown in the video.
After serving, if you are still left with some of it, check below how to store it. However it will get finished in no time!!!
The leftover curry can be refrigerated for upto a day. Since we add coconut and lemon juice we cannot store this for longer than a day.
This curry cannot be reheated, its coconut based cold curry. So if you refrigerate the leftover, you can always keep the curry bowl in hot water and bring it to room temperature. Later serve it as a great vegan side dish.
Make ahead tips
In this recipe, we can grate the fresh coconut in advance, can refrigerate this and use it when required.
To make this curry you can grind coconut masala and refrigerate it. You can bring it to room temperature and further use it for cooking this dish.
Recipe variations and substitutes
Red chilies – They can be easily swapped with green chilies. We can also use Gandhari menasu or Birds eye chilies. The colour, flavour, spiciness of curry changes when we use other chilies.
Red chilly powder can also be added for the spiciness.
Asafoetida tempering – Hing or asafoetida can be added while tempering the curry. It gives a nice aroma with coconut oil.
Cumin tempering – For tempering, beside mustard seeds, you can add cumin. Roasted cumin gives an amazing flavour to curry.
Garlic tempering – A mild garlic flavour can be added to this curry. Either add few garlic for grinding or roast them tempering, then add it to the curry. Do not add too many, as it over powers the aroma fresh lemon juice.
Refined oil- If you are not comfortable with coconut oil for tempering, can be replaced with any refined oil.
Use fresh lemons for making this tasty vegan curry.
Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice to make this curry.
Do not use previously squeezed or stored lemon juice, as it becomes bitter to taste.
Adjust salt as per taste.
The jaggery powder should be added as per the tanginess of the lemon otherwise it becomes sweet curry.
Adjust red chilies as per tanginess of lemon juice.
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Lemon coconut curry or Nimbe gojju
- Mixer grinder
- Tempering pan
- Mixing bowl
- Fresh coconut gratings – ¾ cup
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Red chilies – 6 no
- Coconut oil – ½ tsp
- Coconut oil – 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Urad dal – ½ tsp
- Curry leaves – 10 nos.
- Lemon juice – ¼ cup
- Jaggery powder- ¼ cup
- Salt as per taste
- Water as required
Preparation for making lemon coconut curry
- Begin by nicely rubbing the lemon between the palm so that they release maximum juice. Cut them into two half and squeeze the juice and keep this aside until we grind.
- Heat a pan and roast red chilies in coconut oil for 1 to 2 minutes on low heat.
- Take freshly grated coconut, raw mustard seeds, roasted red chilies and grind them into fine paste using little water.
- Now let’s add all the other ingredients and mix it.
- To the ground coconut mustard masala add salt as per taste with jaggery powder. In this recipe we add more jaggery as we are adding more of lemon juice. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix all these well. The jaggery powder should dissolve in the curry.
- The coconut-based curry is ready for tempering.
Tempering the curry:
- Heat coconut oil in a tadka pan, on medium heat add mustard seeds. Fry well until it splutters.
- Next add in urad dal, fry on medium heat until they become aromatic and golden.
- Next is curry leaves, fry well until they become crisp and aromatic.
- Tempering is ready, pour the tempering to the coconut lemon curry, mix well and serve it. An amazing menu is ready!!
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Frequently asked questions
Is this curry healthy?
Yes its healthy, loaded with Vitamin C and makes a great side dish for busy week days.
Can we temper with ghee?
If you want a non-vegan curry and comfortable using ghee, then you can temper using ghee instead of coconut oil.
What to do with leftover?
The curry is highly addictive, and if you have some leftovers then can be refrigerated until next day.
Can we store this curry?
If you want to store the curry at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, keep the bowl with the curry in a larger bowl filled with water. This keeps the curry fresh.
Can we refrigerate the curry?
Yes the curry can be refrigerated. Bring the curry to room temperature before serving it.
Can we freeze the curry?
No we cannot freeze this curry.
Is this recipe glutenfee?
Yes this coconut-based curry is glutenfree.
Can we use dry coconut?
Yes dry coconut or kobbari can be used
Can we use sugar in the recipe?
Yes jaggery powder can be replaced with sugar, raw sugar or cane sugar. However add less compared to jaggery powder otherwise it becomes too sweetish.
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Pavithra M Adiga
I am a passionate foodie and food photographer with love to document easy, simple to follow, healthy vegetarian recipes in Dice n Cook.