As we head into another heatwave, thoughts turn again to cooling dishes. One of the most nutritious and cooling is yoghurt rice, also called curd rice. It tastes cool and refreshing on the hottest of summer days.
Yoghurt rice is made from rice cooked until mushy, then cooled and mixed with yoghurt and spices. It can be garnished in various ways, including with fruit, cucumber, onion, herbs and pomegranate. Today we have kept it simple. It can be eaten as-is or accompanied with a papad and pickle. Yum!
This dish is also often used in Temples as Naivedyam and Prasadam. We have made it quite thick here – just add more yoghurt to get a thinner texture.
Cooling Yoghurt Rice | Curd Rice | Thayir Sadham
1 cup rice
2 cups Indian (Desi) yoghurt
0.5 cups Milk
coriander leaves or mint leaves, chopped
0.25 tspn Salt
0.5 tspn Mustard Seeds
pinch asafoetida powder
1 green chilli, chopped
1 dried red Indian chilli
1 tspn channa dal
1 tspn urad dal
0.5 tspn minced ginger root
8 – 10 curry leaves
2 tspn ghee
Cook the rice with 3.5 – 4 cups of water until it becomes mushy and soft. Mash the rice lightly while it is still hot. Gently stir in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Set aside to cool. It must be cooled so that the yoghurt does not split when added.
When the rice is cool, add the yoghurt and sea salt to the yoghurt and mix well.
Heat the ghee in a tadka pan or small pan. Add the mustard seed and allow to pop. Add the two dals and as they turn golden add the asafoetida, green chilli, dried red chilli and ginger. Stir carefully, then add the curry leaves. Allow them to splutter, then pour over the cool rice.
Serve garnished with freshly chopped coriander or mint leaves.
Eat with pickle, papad and podi.
recipe notes and alternatives
Alternatively, garnish with seedless green grapes, grated carrots, onion, pomegranate kernels, cucumber and/or cashews toasted in ghee.
Raw onions, grapes and cucumber is the best garnish for hot Summer days. On those days omit the tadka as this nullifies the cooling effects. Use the tempering and other garnishes in other seasons.
Add a little fresh cream for total luxury.
The milk helps to prevent the yoghurt going watery.
An additional cup of yoghurt can be added if a softer consistency is desired.
For temple use, replace the chillies in the tadka with 0.5 tspn black pepper.