Indian Curd Rice with a spiced ghee tadka is the most creamy and comforting dish to spruce up that leftover rice in the fridge. It tastes extra decadent with whole milk Greek yogurt and with a side of potato fry and mango pickle.
Tips to make the best curd rice
Yogurt rice, curd rice, or thayir sadam in Tamil is a creamy and delicious rice dish that is mixed with thick yogurt and topped with a spiced tempering called tadka or thalipu to flavor the yogurt rice throughout. Curd rice is a pretty easy recipe to make but there are a few tips from turning a good curd rice to a great one...
- Overcooked rice is great for this recipe - I know that this may seem unintuitive but overcooked is great for this recipe! The rice for curd rice it is lightly so it melds with the yogurt so overcooked rice works perfectly for this recipe.
- Good quality yogurt makes a difference - Curd rice is fairly simple with just a few ingredients so it is important to choose a good quality yogurt which will make the yogurt rice taste extra creamy. Checkout Straus Family Creamery's Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Plain which you can find in your local grocery store which is so thick and luscious and full of protein.
- Add more milk and yogurt the rice absorbs the liquid - The consistency of yogurt rice should be close to that of a porridge. It should have a high of of yogurt and milk ratio to the rice. What happens as the rice sits with the liquid is that it absorbs a lot of liquid, so make sure to add additional milk and yogurt in order to loosen the curd rice.
- Ghee for tadka makes the dish decadent - The tadka or spiced tempering for curd rice can be made with almost any type of fat. However, I love using ghee to temper the spices in which adds an extra brown-buttery level of flavor.
- Salting the yogurt is important - The biggest mistake folks make when making yogurt rice is not salting the rice and yogurt. It is so important to do this so you can taste all the other vibrant components that get layered in later!
Tadka for Curd Rice
Tadka, thalipu, chhonk, or tempering are all names for the flavor bomb created when spices are bloomed in a fat. The tadka is added to the dish which adds layers of depth and flavor. Here are the ingredients in my tadka and what they add to the dish...
- Ghee - You can use any type of fat to temper your spices in but I love ghee! Ghee adds a deep, earthy, and buttery flavor to the tadka.
- Fresh chilis - I love using freshly chopped Fresno or Thai chilis for heat in this recipe. You can alternatively use dried arbol chilis which is a more subtle heat. If you don't like spice, use serranos, or remove the seeds from the chilis.
- Ginger - Freshly grated ginger is crucial to a delicious curd rice. The ginger has a peppery and fresh taste that perfumes the ghee and the resulting rice.
- Curry Leaves - Curry leaves are an aromatic that is so hard to describe to someone who hasn't tasted them. They make South Indian food taste like South Indian food. It is a deeply nutty, fresh, and earthy leaf that completely transforms the curd rice. Make a trip to your local Indian store to get a packet of these.
- Cumin Seeds - Whole cumin seeds are a nice warmth to the tadka
- Mustard Seeds - Mustard seeds add a complex earthiness and slight bitterness to the dish.
Curd Rice Inclusions
There are so many varieties and additions to make your curd rice special. Here are some of the most popular additions...
- Pomegranate Seeds - Pomegranate seeds in the winter add a pop of color and fresh sweetness to the curd rice.
- Raw Mangoes - Pickled raw mangoes or pickled anything tastes amazing and adds a burst of acid to the creamy dish.
- Cucumbers - Diced cucumbers add crunch and freshness to curd rice
- Shredded carrots - Shredded carrots add a pop of color, slight sweetness, and an extra dose of veggies!
- Sour cream - If you are looking for an extra tangy and decadent curd rice, add a scoop of sour cream!
- Roasted Peanuts - Traditionally, split urud dal pieces are added to curd rice. However, I use freshly roasted peanuts which are easier to find, versatile, and add a bigger crunch.
What to eat with curd rice
Curd rice is one of those dishes that my mom would pack for lunch with side dishes to accompany it. It is the perfect dish that pairs with so many different side dishes. Here are some ideas for what you can pair with curd rice...
- Mango, lime, or garlic pickle - Great way to add spice and tang to your curd rice
- Appalum, papad, or fryums - These Indian crunchy cracker that acts as a crunchy side.
- Potato fry - Who doesn't love fiery masala coated potatoes to eat with a cooling curd rice. You can checkout the recipe for masala roasted potatoes here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Refrigerating curd rice is the best way to keep it from souring too quickly. In addition, adding milk will reduce the amount of sourness in curd rice.
Make sure that the rice is cooled before adding yogurt to the curd rice. This helps prevent any curdling that may occur.
Almost any variety of rice like basmati or a short grain rice will be great for curd rice. However, overcooked rice is preferable for this dish to achieve a porridge-y consistency.
A good quality yogurt is must for curd rice as it is the star of the dish. My preferred yogurt is whole-milk Greek yogurt which is rich, thick, and provides the extra protein needed in my diet.
Curd rice pairs really well with spicy Indian pickles like mango or lime pickle or crunchy appalam or papad snacks. In addition, it goes well with Indian potato fry or spiced vegetable dishes.
Include a combo of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, grated ginger, and curry leaves for the tadka. In addition, you can add freshly chopped chilis for extra heat in your curd rice. To make the curd rice extra rich, make the tadka using ghee instead of oil. You can checkout the exact recipe and quantities down below.
As the curd rice sits in the fridge, the rice absorbs more of the liquid causing the curd rice to be dry, hard, or too thick. Simply mix in more yogurt and milk to the rice to refresh it to your preferred consistency before enjoying.
*This post is a sponsored post by Straus Family Creamery.