Curd Rice (Thayir Sadam)

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The delicate and mild flavored curd rice (also known as thayir sadam or yogurt rice) is a befitting finale to a sumptuous spicy meal. Learn how to make this comfort food in under 30-minutes.

Curd rice served in a metallic gold and red bowl accompanied by pickle in a ceramic brown bowl with coriander on the side
Curd rice recipe

Curd rice / Thayir Sadam / Yogurt rice – Many names, same dish 

The mixture of cooked rice and curd, commonly known as dahi bhaat is a dish that is savored across India, but it is in the South that it has come on its own with a tempering that adds a delicate and refreshing flavor to the otherwise bland tasting mixture. This is a wonderful comfort food that is served with a side of pickle, podi, or papad in the South.

Across the southern peninsula of India, curd rice is served by different names, in Tamil Nadu, it is known as Thayir Sadam, where thayir means curd (or yogurt) and sadam is rice. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is called daddojanam and in Karnataka,it is known as masru-anna.

Irrespective of what it is called, the preparation is mostly the same barring a few spices here and there.

My tryst with thayir sadam

I first became acquainted with this dish at the age of 8, when I first had it at a South Indian buffet. I have always liked yogurt or curd, as they called in India, so obviously, I was drawn to this tempered, creamy rice and yogurt combination. I was hooked at the first bite and I remember, I refilled my plate so many times that I had no place for dessert.

No regrets though, because I totally enjoyed it.  

How to make curd rice 

An overhead shot of curd rice served in a metallic gold and red bowl accompanied by pickle in a ceramic brown bowl with coriander and a brass spoon on the side

Did you know that the best curd rice is the one made from leftover rice? 

If you do not have any handy then, cook the rice to the point that it is overcooked and mushy. Allow it to cool down and then mix it with yogurt, salt, and green chilies until it is well combined. Typically,it is mixed by hand as you get a lump-free, homogenous mixture. But if that is not your style, feel free to use the back of a ladle to mush the rice and yogurt mixture. 

To finish the dish, mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chilies, a bit of hing and urad dal are added to hot oil or ghee. This mixture is known as tempering aka tadka, which is then added to the rice-curd mixture. Often it is garnished with oil-roasted nuts, fruits, herbs, or other vegetables.  

Step by step recipe to make curd rice

  1. Cook rice with twice the amount of water either over the stovetop or in Instant Pot. Allow it cool for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk yogurt with milk till they are well combined. Add grated cucumber, green chilies, salt, grated ginger and mix well.
  3. Add the yogurt mixture to rice and mix it by hand or use the back of a ladle. 
  4. Add oil or ghee to the tadka pan kept over medium-heat. 
  5. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Once the mustard seeds start to sputter, add urad, red chili and a sprig of curry leaves. 
  6. Let them sizzle for about 10 seconds and then pour this mixture over curd rice mixture. Garnish with cilantro and mix well. 
  7. Serve immediately accompanied by pickle and/or papads.

    A collage of step by step pictures on how to make curd rice
    Step by step pictures of curd rice

Notes –  

  1. Adding milk to this recipe helps reduce sourness and also gives this curd rice a creamy texture. It is okay to skip it if you are planning to eat within a couple of hours.
  2. Ghee can be substituted for coconut or olive oil
  3. For best results, use fresh yogurt.  
  4. Garnish can vary from one household to the other, but the most common ones are chopped cilantro, grated carrots, pomegranate arils, grated green mango, and roasted cashews.  

Health benefits of thayir sadam 

There are many health benefits of curd rice and the most common ones are that it aids digestion, has a soothing and cooling effect on the body. It also contains probiotics, antioxidants, and beneficial fats, and that’s why it is especially recommended for people who have an upset stomach.  

How to make curd rice for lunch box 

Curd rice is an excellent meal to take away with you on a journey or even to work or for school lunches. You need to add more milk to preserve the consistency and to prevent curd rice from going sour. Also, if you are planning to take it for lunch the next day, hold off on the tempering process and do it the next morning. 

Can yogurt rice be heated? 

Curd rice is always eaten cold or at room temperature. It should not be warmed or heated. On heating, the curd is likely to break down and separate giving a grainy texture to the dish. 

What is the best side dish for curd rice?

While curd rice is best paired with pickle, podi or papad, we love to eat with a side of this Mangalorean shrimp delicacy – shrimp/yeti ajadina or dried fish chutney

Have more questions? Drop me a note below and I would be happy to answer.

Curd rice served in a metallic gold and red bowl topped with mango pickle and papad. It is also accompanied by pickle in a ceramic brown bowl with coriander on the side
Thayir Sadam Recipe

If you love rice as I do, here are some other rice recipes for you – 

  1. Lemon rice – a simple tangy rice preparation
  2. Jeera rice – aromatic rice basmati rice which is a perfect accompaniment to paneer tikka masala, butter chicken and many other Indian curries
  3. Vegetable biryani– an aromatic biryani that is loaded with veggies
  4. Chettinad chicken biryani – a specialty biryani from Chettinad
  5. Shrimp biryani made super easy using Instant Pot
  6. Egg biryani – Simple and delicious biryani made with eggs


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
An overhead shot of curd rice served in a metallic gold and red bowl accompanied by pickle in a ceramic brown bowl with coriander and a brass spoon on the side

Curd Rice Recipe

4.78 from 9 votes
The delicate and mild flavored curd rice (also known as thayir sadam or yogurt rice) is a befitting finale to a sumptuous spicy meal. Learn how to make this comfort food in under 30-minutes. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Course : Lunch / Dinner recipes
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups rice, sona masoori or basmati
  • 2 cups yogurt, fresh, preferably
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cucumber
  • 2 Indian or Thai green chilies (Bird's eye), chopped finely
  • 1 inch-piece ginger, finely grated

For tempering

  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal, washed and rinsed
  • 2 whole dried red chili, halved
  • A sprig of curry leaves

Instructions
 

  • Cook rice with twice the amount of water either over the stovetop or in Instant Pot.
  • Whisk yogurt with milk till they are well combined. Add grated cucumber, green chilies, salt, grated ginger and mix well.
  • Add the yogurt mixture to rice and mash well using your fingers or the back of a ladle.
  • Add oil or ghee to the tadka pan kept over medium-heat. 
  • When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Once the mustard seeds start to sputter, add urad, red chili and a sprig of curry leaves. 
  • Let them sizzle for about 10 seconds and then pour this mixture over curd rice mixture. Garnish with cilantro and mix well. 
  • Serve immediately accompanied by pickle and/or papads.

Notes

  1. Adding milk to this recipe helps reduce sourness and also gives this curd rice a creamy texture. It is okay to skip it if you are planning to eat within a couple of hours.
  2. Ghee can be substituted for coconut or olive oil
  3. For best results, use fresh yogurt.  
  4. Garnish can vary from one household to the other, but the most common ones are chopped cilantro, grated carrots, pomegranate arils, grated green mango, and roasted cashews.  

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 6gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 82mgPotassium: 247mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 230IUVitamin C: 18.3mgCalcium: 125mgIron: 0.6mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : Thayir sadam, Yogurt Rice, Curd Rice

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