Lemon macaroni | Tangy Indian macaroni

Lemon macaroni | Indian macaroni
Refreshingly simple this tangy lemon macaroni recipe with Indian style tempering is a fantastic fusion recipe you must try. Make it with whole wheat pasta, regular pasta or gluten-free ones the Indian macaroni recipe pleases the age groups.

Ingredients to make this lemon macaroni 

Pasta: I love the shape of elbow macaroni,  it was the first pasta I was introduced to. I love it with white sauce and in pasts salads. I do feel it does justice to the pasta salad as it is smaller and helps to tuck in a bit more veggies if you want to hide any.
There is no hard and fast rule about which shape you should use. The recipe works with penne, farfalle, ziti  risoni  and even spaghetti. Aldente pasta is all you are looking for here.  If using fresh pasta, or dried, cook it just firm so it can be tossed again in the tempered spices.
Lemon – the tangy feel and flavour profile of the recipe is from the lemon juice. I use Meyer lemons juice here. The fresh squeeze always tastes better than the juice concentrate.
Indian tempering -the pasta is spotted with a few Indian spices that make this fusion the perfect Indian macaroni recipe. Just like we do for our stirfry rice, I use whole black mustard seeds and urad dal to splutter. To this, we add ginger, garlic and green chillies. This can be as a minced form or as a paste.
Spices and herbs- as the whole seeds, ginger garlic paste gets tempered,  you want to add the turmeric powder and asafoetida to the oil and remove it from heat. The turmeric gives the golden colour that works so well with anything lemony (this is the same way we went with peela pulao). The asafoetida makes up for the onion that we have not added. It is a unique flavour,  if you are not used to it, add a few spring onions.
For the herbs, I love coriander in this mix. You could go with mint, parsley basil or lemon mint.
With the ingredients  ready here is the step by step details with images that makes this fusion pasta the perfect lemon macaroni

Lemon macaroni

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine diabetic friendly, Fusion, Indian, Italian, Kids choice, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • drinking water for cooking the pasta
  • salt to taste


  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp almonds
  • 2 tbsp cashewnuts
  • 1/2 tsp ginger chopped fine
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 green chill slit
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

To toss into the pasta

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves


  • Boil the water and cook the pasta as per pack instructions. Add the salt to the pasta water before cooking the pasta
  • Once cooked, drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Set a pan and add the oil.
  • As it heats up, crackle the mustard followed by the urad dal, nuts ginger, curry leaves, chilies and flax seed.
  • When the dal looks golden and the ginger and garlic are aromatic, remove from heat and add the turmeric powder.
  • The turmeric will only mildly sizzle, don't allow it to burn .
  • Add the cooked macaroni.
  • Toss well, add the lemon juice and coriander leaves and mix well.
  • The pasta is now ready to serve.
    lemon macaroni pasta


Use any other type of pasta you like. The cooking time may change.
Keyword Indian vegetarian dinner, Pasta recipes, summer recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

lemon macaroni pasta

Variations to add to make this pasta

Cheese- I have not added any cheese to this pasta. However, a bit of crumbled feta will taste lovely here. You can use feta style bio cheese to keep it vegan.
Veggies– you can add up a bunch of veggies to make this pasta more colourful. Roasted  Broccoli, carrot, bell peppers (capsicum), kale and zucchini all are perfect here. I will avoid roasted beets as they will take off the beautiful golden yellow colour.

Plan this Indian macaroni on your picnic menu.

Lemon macaroni is one of the best-sought recipes whenever we plan out our picnics. Often with some finger food and a quick salad mix, these pasta keep the fun and conversation alive. If you are carrying on the Indian theme through your picnic food, pack in some crunchy matris, some creamy avocado chutney, a simple channa chaat salad and some grapes jaljeera to complete the plan. This is not only yummy is very healthy too. If the days are way too hot or summer rain spoils your plan, set that blanket down and have an indoor picnic. So fun.

Let’s store that leftover lemon macaroni

 The leftover macaroni stays well in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days in an airtight box. I don’t like to keep it frozen as the pasta becomes very dry. 

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Poonam Bachhav
6 years ago

While reading through your post I realised that most of us make such easy fusion dishes in day to day cooking Seema. Lemon macaroni tastes great..I even cook the entire thing in a pressure cooker for just 1 whistle on some lazy days 🙂

6 years ago

This looks yummy! I recently started using Tumeric powder in some of my recipes. My husband loves pasta and this looks easy to make. Thank you for sharing!

Vandana Chauhan
Vandana Chauhan
2 years ago
Rating :

Such a simple and interesting recipe. It sounds really flavorful and delicious, I will definitely try it.

Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
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Not only a beautiful colour but also a mouth watering dish. Love lemon rice and your version to use pasta,,, simply awesome. This is a must try recipe. I am always looking for quick and tasty recipes for a quick lunch.

2 years ago
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What an easy and refreshing pasta dish this is. Love that you made it South Indian style with the addition of turmeric and tadka. Can’t wait to try this for my family.

2 years ago

Lemon macaroni looks simple yet full of flavors of cumin and ginger. I am quite impressed at the addition of flaxseeds. Lime juice is the ultimate showstopper here. Great post.

Hayley Dhanecha
2 years ago
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Oh I absolute love this twist, we Asians are so good at this skill 🙂 So easy, comforting and tasty dish.

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