Make 10 Minute South Indian Curd Rice

Comfort food curd rice is a popular South Indian dish made by combining rice and yogurt, seasoned with spices and herbs. The creamy texture and tangy flavor of curd rice can be enjoyed on its own or as a refreshing accompaniment to Indian dishes.

Curd rice topped with a tadka of curry leaves, dals, spices and cilantro leaves.

Curd rice, Indian yogurt rice, is a pure comfort food! Simple to make and flavorful. It’s a great way to make with fresh rice or even leftover rice.

I first had curd rice during a visit to a South Indian temple many years ago. It is offered as prasad and distributed.  

The dish is simple, but there’s something cozy and wonderful in the creamy rice with light spices and a crunchy contrast of tempered dals.

Since then, I’ve had it many times and love the simplicity of the dish that can be made at home.

While yogurt and rice are a popular combination in Indian cuisine, what makes this distinct is a tempering of oil with spices that adds a DELICIOUS layer of flavor.  

Curd rice mixed with a tadka of red chilies and spices.

Why you will love this recipe

Simple ingredients | No fancy ingredients needed! Big flavor with simple ingredients.

Quick to prepare | Ready in 15 minutes (with leftover rice)

Cooling and soothing  | Enjoy a dish with probiotics that provides a cooling balance to spicy meals or on a hot summer day

Delight in a traditional dish | Discover authentic flavors of South India with a dish that has cultural significance

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free | Suitable for all diet types

About Curd Rice

Curd rice goes by different names in the five South Indian states. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is called perugu annam; in Tamil Nadu, it is thayir sadam or daddojanam; in Karnataka, it is mosaruanna or bagala bath, and in Kerala (, it goes by thairu sadam/thairu choru. 

In its simplest form cooked, cooled rice is mashed and mixed with curd and salt.  The recipe here includes spices bloomed in hot oil for more flavor and texture. 

It is commonly served as a cooling finale and a palate cleanser at the end of a meal.

It is easy to travel with as part of a lunch box or tiffin.

Curd rice topped with a tadka of curry leaves, dals, spices and cilantro leaves.

Curd rice is a popular dish in India, and it goes by different names in various regions. Here is a list of alternative names for curd rice, along with their corresponding regions:

  1. Dahi Chawal – North India, particularly in Hindi-speaking regions.
  2. Thayir Saddam – Tamil Nadu and other South Indian states.
  3. Mosaranna – Karnataka, a state in South India.
  4. Dahi Bhaat – Maharashtra and other parts of Western India.
  5. Dahi Pakhal – Odisha, an eastern state of India.
  6. Doi Bhaat – West Bengal and other eastern states.
  7. Dahi Annam – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, states in South India.
  8. Perugu Annam – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  9. Thayir Saadam – Kerala, a state in South India.
  10. Masru – Manipur, a northeastern state of India.

Curd Vs. Yogurt

The short story: Curd and yogurt are different. But, don’t worry you can use yogurt in place of curd!

Curd, also known as Indian dahi, is a dairy product produced by causing milk to curdle using edible acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar.

 In contrast, yogurt is made through the bacterial fermentation of milk, utilizing a yogurt culture containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles.

In the U.S. homemade Indian dahi is often referred to as yogurt.  It can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Ingredient Notes

Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. 

Ingredients for curd rice on a marble top.

Rice: Soft-cooked mushy rice is key.  Fresh, cooled rice is best.  However, you can use leftover rice if you prefer.

I’ve used basmati rice and have tons of tips on cooking basmati rice.  Sona masoori rice or brown basmati rice can also be used.  

You can even do half brown rice and half white rice.

Tip: Add ½ cup extra water than usual when cooking rice to make it a bit softer. 

Milk: Gives a creamier texture and helps balance the acidity of the curd/yogurt. It will help prevent a sour taste from developing.

Curd:  Homemade curd is traditionally used.  You can use yogurt.  People also use buttermilk during the summer.

If using Greek yogurt, be sure to adjust the milk for desired consistency since Greek yogurt is on the thicker side.

Coconut oil or ghee: I like using coconut oil for this. People usually use ghee. Both are delicious. Feel free to use an alternative oil of your choice.

Dal: Urad dal and chana dal provide a bit of texture and protein.

Indian spices: Mustard seeds and asafoetida

Heat: Green chilies and dried red chilies are used.

Cilantro: Adds a fresh bite.

Curry leaves: Add wonderful flavor. Did you know you can grow your own curry leaf plant?

Preparation of Rice

Measure 2 cups of rice and rinse it thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch and prevents clumping.

White basmati grains in a plate.

Stove top:

The ratio of rice to water for slightly mushy rice is 1.5:1.

  1. Drain the rinsed rice and transfer it to a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the saucepan. The ratio of rice to water for slightly mushy rice is 2:1.
  3. Optional: Add a pinch of salt for flavor if desired.
  4. Place the saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with the lid. Simmer the rice for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Avoid lifting the lid or stirring the rice while it’s cooking, as it can affect the texture.
  7. After the cooking time, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and continue softening.

Instant Pot:

 The ratio of rice to water for slightly soft rice is 1.33:1.

  1.  Drain the rinsed rice and transfer it to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. 
  3. Optional: Add a pinch of salt for flavor if desired.
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid, and set the steam release handle to the “Sealing” position.
  5. Select the “Rice” or “Pressure Cook” function on the Instant Pot, and set the cooking time to 5 minutes at high pressure.
  6. Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes. Then, perform a quick pressure release by carefully turning the steam release handle to the “Venting” position to release any remaining pressure.
  7. When the pressure has fully released, carefully open the Instant Pot lid.
  8. Fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains and achieve a slightly soft texture.

Rice Cooker:

The ratio of rice to water for slightly soft rice is 1:1

  1. Drain the rinsed rice and transfer it to the rice cooker’s inner pot.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the rice cooker. The ratio of rice to water for slightly mushy rice is 1:1.
  3. Optional: Add a pinch of salt for flavor if desired.
  4. Close the rice cooker lid and select the “White Rice” or “Regular” cooking setting, if available.
  5. Once the rice cooker indicates that the rice is cooked, let it sit for about 5 minutes to steam and continue softening.
  6. After resting time, open the rice cooker lid and fluff the rice gently with a fork.

If you don’t let the rice cool completely before adding curd, it will coagulate. So ensure to allow enough time to let it reach room temperature.

Plate of white basmati rice.

After the rice cools

Once the rice is cooled to room temperature. Add milk and mash well using a potato masher or fork. This gives you creaminess. Then, mix in the curd/yogurt.

The consistency is supposed to be loose and not super thick. Note, it will thicken the longer it sits.

Mashed rice with yogurt and milk in a bowl.

 Tadka Making It

1.Add oil to a pan on medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds.  Give them time to pop and splutter.  Once the popping slows down, add the asafoetida.

Mustard seed tadka with asafoetida.

2.Next, add chana dal to the pan.  After 15-20 seconds add in the urad dal.

Chana dal and urad dal added to tadka.

3.Then, add ginger (optional) and green chilies.  Mix.  Followed by red chilies with another mix.  Last the curry leaves which will crisp up quick.

Red chili, curry leaves, and green chilies added to hot oil.

4.Immediately pour the tadka over the rice yogurt mixture.  Mix. Top with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Curd rice topped with a tadka of curry leaves, dals, spices and cilantro leaves.

Toppings

Fruit:  Add pomegranate seeds/arils or grapes chopped in halves for a pop of color and flavor.  Although not traditional, I love adding small bites of pineapple.

Veggies:  You can also add onions and cucumbers on top.

Nuts: Cashews can be added to the tadka to fry up a bit.  

Storing

Store in fridge if not using right away.  It is best consumed within 1-2 days of making it. Fresh is best.

Serving Suggestions

This is often served with Mango Pickle or Lemon Pickle and papad.

Plate of sona masuri rice with a serving spoon.

Rice Substitutes

While I used basmati rice this time, you can use any basmati rice alternative or other rice type and even explore other whole grains such as quinoa for this!

Brown rice can also work and is easy to make in an Instant Pot.

Sona Masoori is a great alternative to use.


Have you tried this South Indian curd rice recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out.  

Curd rice topped with a tadka of curry leaves, dals, spices and cilantro leaves.

Make 10 Minute South Indian Curd Rice

Shilpa Joshi
Comfort food curd rice is a popular South Indian dish made by combining rice and yogurt, seasoned with spices and herbs. The creamy texture and tangy flavor of curd rice can be enjoyed on its own or as a refreshing accompaniment to Indian dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 200 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cooked rice 250g cooked (about 3/4 cup dry rice if making fresh rice)
  • ¾ cup milk ½ cup for thicker consistency
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tbsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ½ tbsp urad dal
  • ½ tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 4-5 stalks cilantro finely chopped

Instructions
 

Prepare the rice

  • Measure out two cups cooked rice.
    Fresh rice: 3/4 cup of rice washed 3 times. Place in a pot with water and cook.
  • Once rice is cooled to room temperature. Add milk and mash well using a potato masher or fork. This gives you creaminess. Then, mix in the curd/yogurt.
    The consistency is supposed to be loose and not super thick. Note, it will thicken the longer it sits.

Tadka

  • Add oil to a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Give them time to pop and splutter. Once the popping slows down, add the asafoetida.
  • Next, add chana dal to the pan. After 15-20 seconds add in the urad dal.
  • Then, add ginger (optional) and green chilies. Mix. Followed by red chilies with another mix. Last the curry leaves which will crisp up quick.
  • Immediately pour the tadka over the rice yogurt mixture. Mix. Top with chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 547mgPotassium: 153mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 238IUVitamin C: 53mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating