South Indian style Curd Rice

Chennai Connection

Barnali Dutta, Published March 6, 2014


"Curd Rice" actually means unsweetened yogurt rice dishes of India and it is one of the very special preparations of South India. In dry and semi-dry seasons consumption of this dish maintains fluid balance in human body in a hot tropical climate country like India.

In Bengal also, so many dishes includes yogurt as main ingredient like Chida dahi mahotsav [celebration with people - a festival vitalized by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu], Dodhikorma on puja, Dodhimangal a marriage custom, Adhibash on fasts, on feasts, and so on. Bengalis love to take curd in all type of meal. In our childhood we used to have flattened rice [ চিড়া ] with sour yogurt on breakfast Jalkhabar [ জলখাবার ], finish our lunch with homemade yogurt [an individual cup for everybody - yogurt did set in ramekins], evening tiffins consisted of sour yogurt and puffed rice with some minced cucumbers, onions, and green chilies salad [variant of kachumber, an Indian relish] spiced with my mother's specially toasted five-spice powder, and one big scoop of sweet yogurt and rice as desert during dinner, yummy !!


Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya-lila verse 283

Especially, on important days before leaving the house having a spoonful of yogurt with granulated sugar is like a ritual in Hindu in every household. I think this is because the coolness created by sandal tika [ তিলক ] on forehead and coldness felt inside after eating of yogurt gives us great relaxation of mind too. Yet after having this curd rice I am trying to find an excuse to turn this into a tantalizing food. Somebody told me in Chennai that before sitting for an exam one should eat curd rice cooked with carrot and pomegranate together with okra fry since it is believed an extra help to achieve success.

I was curious and while in search for the brain food I found some very interesting information in our ayurvedic books Chiranjib Banoshadhi [written by Shibkali Bhattacharya], which I was reading religiously.  Boiled carrot [ গৃঞ্জন or গাজর 3/108], garlic with milk [ রসোন 1/51], pomegranate [ দাড়িম্ব 1/251] are very helpful for enhancing memory and the ladies finger are rich sources of iron, zinc, folic acid, omega-3 and other minerals can capacitate us to act more intelligently.


In this 'Curd Rice' recipe, the balance of rice and curd may differ. I like to add milk to make it less sour with right sweet-sour balance, a creamy consistency accompanying with dry okra fry with Mother's Recipe mango pickle and oven-toasted papad.


  • For rice you need 100g long grain rice [soaked overnight] and slightly overcooked.  Cook rice with fresh and roughly chopped curry leaves.

  • Take 1/2 cup of milk (of room temperature) and 1/4 cup of yogurt of double-toned milk. Place two garlic pods in the yogurt to soak overnight.

  • For tempering you need gingerly sesame oil 1 teaspoon and ghee 2 teaspoon, a small piece of gum asafoetida [size of one pomegranate seed] soaked and diluted in one teaspoon of water, curd chili [chili pickled in yogurt], two teaspoonful of split urad dal and chana dal pairing with cashew nuts, black mustard seeds one teaspoon, one dried round [red ball] chili, and one swirl of curry leaves.

  • One tablespoon of tiny diced carrots and one tablespoon of pomegranate seeds.


  • Take the cooked rice, salt according to taste, and curd, beat well, keep aside for 5 minutes. Now add milk.

  • First heat gingerly sesame oil in a tempering ladle then add ghee, splutter mustard seeds, add split urad dal, chana dal, and cashew nuts, red chili, add curry leaves, curd chili, soaked garlic and asafoetida water, soon after add diced carrots and fry a little. Take the ladle carefully and pour over the prepared rice, mix well.

  • Add 1 or 2 teaspoons more milk if it becomes too thick, mix well and keep aside for 10 minutes. Add and fold pomegranate seeds in the curd rice. Enjoy with fried okra, papad, and pickle.

Yield: For 2 persons one tablespoon of rice. | Prep Time: 06:00 | Cook time: 00:20 | Total Time: 06:20