Curd Rice is an easy summer favourite that’s tempered with spices and aromatics to create a cool, refreshing dish. Mostly popular in South India where its also called thayir sadam, daddojanam or bagala bath in different languages. It tastes fantastic served with some pickle, podi, appalam and fryums.
I never understood curd rice till I started living in Bangalore. Then I couldn’t ignore the cult following that curd rice has in this region. At first I couldn’t believe how such a simple preparation could be loved so passionately.
But after trying it at multiple weddings, I figured why it’s such a favourite!
Curd rice isn’t just rice mixed with curd. It’s actually rice thats set with curd that gets made when warm rice, milk and curd are mixed together and left to work their magic for a few hours. Then there’s a flavourful tempering added to it, to give flavour to the creamy rice. A few hours in the fridge if you like yours cold (which I highly recommend) and you have for yourself the quintessential summer dish. The one that lulls you to sleep after you’ve had it for lunch.
Lets just say – I now have deep feelings for curd rice and how I like one.
Because there are two different ways to make it
How to make Curd Rice
Method 1: This is a method I learnt from a Tamil friend. Rice is cooked in a pressure cooker till soft, and is lightly mashed. Then the warm mushy rice is mixed with curd and milk and left to set in a warm spot for a few hours. After a few hours, the live bacteria in curd help the curd rice ‘set’. And what you are left with is homemade curd set with rice. I do this often early in the morning to have perfect curd rice for lunch. Tempering is added, and if you have time, curd rice is left to refrigerate because it tastes amazing when its chilled.
Method 2: This is more like an instant recipe for when you are in a hurry. Cook rice in a pressure cooker till soft and mash it lightly. Let it cool completely and then mix it with curd and a little milk (optional). You can also use some buttermilk instead of curd. Add tempering and its ready to be eaten.
While this may seem like an incredibly simple dish (which it is), here are a few things to keep in mind
- Fresh rice: Always use freshly cooked rice for best results. Stale rice is not preferred because we want the rice to be soft, and easily mashable. The pressure cooked is in my opinion, the best way to make rice for curd rice.
- Homemade Curd: Always homemade curd over store bought curd, because flavour, lightness and creaminess is hard to beat. But in a pinch, you can always use store bought curd (no judgement here!)
- Milk: Milk is a good addition to curd rice because it prevents the curd from turning sour in the summer heat. So don’t skip it.
- Room Temperature: The curd and milk should both be at room temperature to prevent any curdling and whey from separating
Is Curd Rice Healthy?
Curd rice is extremely healthy, especially if consumed during the summer months. Its rice in protein, calcium and minerals, and it has good fats from the curd, milk and tempering. Its common knowledge that the probiotics in curd aid digestion, which is also why this dish is often consumed at the end of a South Indian meal. This is really refreshing, and with the addition of some vegetables and fruits like pomegranate, it can add some fiber as well.
Additions to Curd Rice
Curd Rice is enjoyed in many different ways. Some like it plain but here are some great additions to pep up your curd rice:
- Grated Carrots
- Chopped cucumber
- Chopped raw mango
- Pomegranate arils
- Cashews for crunch
Lets just saw whichever you decide to eat your curd rice, this is one dish that’ll always leave you satisfied. You’ll be surprised at how often you make it for you and your family.
Watch the Video
Curd Rice – Summer Special
- ½ Cup short grained Rice we used Sona Masuri
- 1 1/4 cup Water for boiling
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Milk at room temperature
- ¼ Cup Curd at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Urad Dal
- ½ Teaspoon Hing (asafoetida)
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped Ginger
- 1 Green Chilli slit lengthwise
- 1 Sprig Curry Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons chopped Coriander Leaves
- ¼ Cup finely chopped Onion for topping (optional)
- ¼ Cup Pomegranate arils for topping (optional)
- Wash and rinse the rice at least three times.
- Add rice, salt and water to a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles. If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook for 8 minutes and then release pressure manually. Once the rice is cooked, lightly mash it with the back of a spatula.
- Transfer the rice to a container with a lid. Combine milk and curd and add it to the warm rice. Mix well to combine, close the lid and keep aside. Allow the curd to set along with the rice for about 6 hours.
- To prepare the tempering, add oil to a saucepan on high heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Reduce the heat to medium and add urad dal and fry lightly until golden brown on the sides.
- Add hing, ginger and green chilli. Fry lightly until fragrant. Add curry leaves and saute for 10 – 15 seconds. Turn off heat and add the tempering to the set curd rice along with chopped coriander. Add onion and pomegranate as well, if using. Mix all of it together and add more salt, if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate till chilled.