Curd rice recipe with video & step by step photos. Curd rice is a south Indian dish made with precooked rice, curd (yogurt) & tempering spices. It is more often eaten by south Indians as a part of a meal. Curd rice also known as thayir saddam & daddojanam makes a great summer food. It is eaten with a podi, papad, pickle & even topped with some pomegranate arils or raw cucumber & onions.
Curd rice is also offered to gods during pooja. Temples in South India also offer this to the deities & distribute among the devotees as prasadam.
Most south Indian homes make this with fresh cooked rice & homemade curd or yogurt. However it can also be made with store bought yogurt. You can refer this post to make Homemade curd.
There are 2 different ways to make this. One is the home style & the other one is the temple style. In home style preparation, the regular tempering spices, red chilies & green chilies are used. Where as for the temple style the ingredients are different & the method as well.
You can also check this temple style daddojanam recipe we make during summers or for naivedyam, lunch box or travel. It is different from the one shared here. The recipe shared here in this post is how we make curd rice at home on regular days.
How is curd rice made?
Curd rice is made by simply mixing soft cooked mushy rice with curd and salt. Then tempered with the basic tempering or tadka ingredients to make it mildly flavorful.
Tips to make the best curd rice
1.Always use fresh cooked & cooled rice. Avoid using stale or leftover rice either from the fridge or cooked on the previous day. It is very unhealthy to eat such rice as it contains bacteria.
2.For healthier whole grain option, use brown rice or any whole grains mixed with regular rice. You can use even millets, steel cut oats, rolled oats, or even broken wheat to make this dish.
3.Make sure the grains are soft cooked and mashed well before adding the curd to it. The rice turns hard when curd is added to it without mashing well.
4. Do not add cold yogurt to hot rice as the curd may coagulate. According to Ayurveda adding cold curd to hot rice causes vata dosha & can lead to imbalances in the body. So ensure the rice is fully cooled before mixing with curd.
1.Curd rice is considered to be a super food by many south Indians as it easily fulfills the daily nutritional requirements of the body. As curd is high in calcium, protein & other nutrients it is consumed regularly.
2. Traditionally curdrice was consumed regularly during summers to prevent sunstroke & beat the summer heat. Yogurt or curd is considered as a natural coolant & brings down the body temperature.
3. Eating this with raw onions & cucumbers helps to bring down the body heat and improves the digestion.
4. It is also believed that seasoning the thayir sadam with oil, ginger, chilli & spices nullifies the cooling nature of the curd.
So traditionally it was tempered during monsoons & winters. The tempering is avoided and served just with raw onions & cucumbers during summer.
1.How to prevent whey getting separated in curd rice or thayir sadam?
Most often when thayir sadam is packed in box after a few hours whey separates and the rice looks very unpleasant. Here are the tips you can follow to avoid that
- Most often whey separates if the hot rice is mixed with cold curd. so add curd only when the rice is cooled completely.
- Follow this step if you are making thayir sadam ahead of time and packing it for office or school box. Mash the rice well when it is still hot. Pour milk little by little to the hot rice and mash until all the milk has been absorbed.
- Then add curd & mix. Do not add hot tempering to yogurt rice or thayir sadam.
2.How to avoid curd rice from turning sour?
Curd rice turns sour during summer if you make it ahead. So adding some milk to the rice will prevent the curd from turning sour. You don’t need to refrigerate. The tempering with ginger, oil & spices will keep it fresh for a couple of hours.
3.Can you feed this to babies & toddlers?
Most south Indian mothers feed their babies yogurt & rice after 9 months. Just puree the rice & yogurt together in a blender. You can serve this as a breakfast or lunch for 2 to 3 times a week. Avoid during monsoons and winters. This is best during summers. Please consult your doctor before you introduce.
If you have a toddler who loves yogurt, you can feed this 4 to 5 times in a week. Grate some veggies like carrots & cucumber over the rice. You can also sprinkle some podi or stir fried veggies.
South Indian curd rice recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup rice (¼ cup white rice ¼ cup brown rice or millets)
- 1½ cup water
- 1 to 1½ cup curd or dahi or yogurt (or more)
- ¼ cup milk (optional)
- salt as needed
veggies for curd rice
- 2 tbsp carrot grated
- 2 tbsp cucumber or bottle gourd, grated
- 1 tsp coriander leaves finely chopped
Ingredients for tempering curd rice
- 1 tsp oil
- ½ tsp cumin or jeera
- ½ tsp mustard
- ¾ to 1 tsp chana dal (optional)
- ¾ to 1 tsp urad dal or minapa pappu (optional)
- 1 red chilli broken
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 pinch hing or asafoetida
- ½ tsp ginger minced or crushed
- 1 green slit or chopped (optional)
- 6 to 8 cashews split or chopped (optional)
How to make the recipe
- Add rice to a bowl and rinse it well a few times. Then pour 1½ cups water and salt. Keep it in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook rice for 3 whistles until soft. You can also cook the rice directly in the cooker for 2 whistles.
- When the pressure releases, remove the rice & mash it lightly. You can also fluff up & use if you do not like mushy rice.
- If using milk, add it as well and stir. Milk can be skipped if curd is fresh and the curd rice is going to be served within an hour.
- Cool it completely.
- Add curd to cooled rice. Mix well until combined. If you have cooked the rice without salt, then add it now.
- Add coriander leaves, grated carrots and cucumbers to the curd rice. Taste the curd rice & add more salt if needed.
How to make curd rice
- Heat oil in a pan. Then add cumin & mustard. When they begin to splutter, add red chilli, chana dal, urad dal & cashews if using. Fry until the dal turns golden.
- Add ginger, green chili and curry leaves.
- When the curry leaves turn crisp, add hing and turn off the stove. If using bottle gourd, add it to the hot seasoning and stir.
- Pour the tempering to the curd rice and mix. South Indian style curd rice is ready.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
You can replace white rice with brown rice, steel cut oats, rolled oats or millets.
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
1. Add rice to a pressure cooker or bowl. You can use only white rice. I prefer to use matta rice / brown rice and white rice in equal proportions. This is one good way to include brown rice in the diet.
Using all brown rice also yields good curd rice. You can even add a handful of millets or replace brown rice with millets.
2. Wash the rice a few times. I usually soak for about 20 to 30 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups fresh water and salt as needed.
3. I cook the rice directly in the pressure cooker for 1 to 2 whistles. If you are cooking in a bowl pressure cook on a medium flame for 3 whistles. This may vary depending on the brand of cooker you own. We need to soft cook the rice.
4. Fluff up the rice or mash it well. Many people prefer to mash it well to make it creamy. I prefer to fluff up. Cool the rice completely. Adding curd to hot rice will coagulate the curd (like curdled).
5. Add fresh curd to the rice. Mix until just combined. Add more or less curd to bring the yogurt rice to consistency. I suggest adding milk, if yogurt is sour or you are going to serve it after an hour or more.
Usually little milk is added to make thayir sadam but I do not use since i always use fresh curd and serve right away.
How to make curd rice or thayir sadam
6. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, cumin, cashews, chana dal, urad dal & red chilli. Saute them until the dal turns golden. Then add the red chili, green chilli, curry leaves & ginger.
The curry leaves will turn crisp then add hing. Switch off the stove. If using grated bottle gourd, add it to the pan and saute for a minute.
7. Add carrots and coriander leaves if using. Then pour the tempering to the curd rice. Stir well. Adjust salt if needed.