Curd Rice (Thayir Sadam)

Curd Rice, often called Thayir Sadam in Tamil, is a staple and comforting South Indian dish known for its cool, tangy, and creamy texture. This quick-to-make yogurt rice is prepared by mixing slightly overcooked rice and yogurt with a tempering of spices and curry leaves.

Curd Rice served with potato fry with a spoon in a plate.

Two Methods Of Making Curd Rice

  • Home Style: Every household has its own version of curd rice. It may include vegetables like grated carrots, cucumber, or fruits such as pomegranate arils. Some people like to add peanuts or cashews for crunch.
  • Temple Style: This version is simpler, with minimal seasoning and no green chilies or ginger in the tempering. It’s prepared in large quantities for distribution to devotees and, since it’s made for Naivedhyam, it typically doesn’t include vegetables.

What To Serve With Curd Rice?

  • Curd rice is commonly served as part of a meal in South Indian homes throughout the year. Due to its cooling properties, it’s perfect for summer days.
  • Many enjoy it with a side of pickle, podi, and papad
  • At home, we love pairing curd rice with potato fry, making a filling yet light meal for summer. You can also choose any other vegetable stir-fry dish.

Ingredient Notes

Here is the pic of the ingredients you’ll need to make curd rice recipe. All of them are very basic and staple Indian pantry ingredients.

Curd rice ingredients in bowls and spoons with labels.

Rice: I prefer sona masoori rice, but any local variety works. Rice should be slightly over-cooked to a mashable texture, as it hardens slightly after adding yogurt.

TIP: You can replace rice with millet or quinoa for a healthier option.

Milk or Water: Adjusts the consistency of the curd rice.

  • Milk: Ideal for lunchbox or picnic meals to prevent yogurt from turning sour. Temples use milk as they offer the dish throughout the day.
  • Water: Use if consuming the dish immediately.

Yogurt (Curd): Use fresh (not-sour) yogurt. Full-fat yogurt gives a creamier texture, but low-fat or fat-free yogurt works too. 
– If using Greek yogurt, add more water or milk to adjust the consistency.

Tempering: Made from mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, hing, ginger, green chili, and curry leaves. Adjust the amount or skip the green chilies for small kids.

Step By Step With Tips 

Full instructions are in the recipe card at the end of the post. This is just the overview and notes on how to make curd rice?

1) Cook Rice & Cool To Room Temperature:

Wash and pressure cook the rice to almost mushy stage. For that you’ll need to add little more water than your regular rice cooking. I prefer to use Instant pot (PIP – pot-In-Pot) method to cook rice. However, you can use traditional stovetop pressure cooker as well.

Make sure that rice has cooled down to room temperature before adding yogurt. So transfer cooked rice to a bowl. 

Why Cooled Rice?
– Yogurt may curdle if added into piping hot rice. 
– Temperature differences can shock the rice, causing the grains to turn hard.
– It will thicken as it cools and you’ll loose the right curd rice consistency. 

Collage of 3 images showing soaked, cooked rice and transferred to a bowl.

2) Mix Cooled Rice With Yogurt:

Add yogurt and salt to the cooled rice and mix well.

Consistency: Depending on the what yogurt you’re using, you may need to adjust the consistency by adding water or milk. E.g. Store bought yogurt has thick consistency then homemade. If so adjust the amount of water/milk. If using greek yogurt then you’ll need more liquid.

Collage of 2 images showing mixing yogurt into rice.

3) Make Tempering:

Make tempering of mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, ginger, chili, hing and curry leaves.

Collage of 4 images showing tempering of spices.

4) Add Tempering & Toppings:

Immediately pour this tempering over the curd rice and mix. I have not adding anything else and kept it plain.

Topping or Mix-in Options:

  • Vegetables: Grated cucumber, carrot.
  • Fruits: Pomegranate, diced grapes, or chopped/grated green mangoes.
  • Herbs: Finely chopped cilantro, or mint.
  • Nuts: Roast the peanuts or cashews in tempering and add.
Collage of 2 images showing adding tempering to the curd rice.

Check Out Other South Indian Rice Dishes

Curd rice in a plate with spoon on a wooden board.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review in the comment section below. If you’re sharing it on your Instagram then don’t forget to tag me @spice.up.the.curry

Curd Rice (Thayir Sadam, Indian Yogurt Rice)

5 from 1 vote
Curd rice in a plate with spoon on a wooden board.
Curd Rice, often called Thayir Sadam in Tamil, is a staple and comforting South Indian dish known for its cool, tangy, and creamy texture. Serve this Indian yogurt rice with pickle or podi or a side of potato fry and papad to make a filling yet light to stomach meal for summer days.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serving Size 2

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml)


  • ½ cup Sona masoori rice, or your choice of any rice, millet, or quinoa
  • 2 cups Water, to cook rice
  • 1 ⅔ cups Yogurt (curd or dahi), Full-fat
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup Milk, or water (optional, added to adjust the consistency)

For Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Urad dal (split, skinless black gram)
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger, minced
  • 1 Green chili, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon Hing (Asafoetida)
  • 8-10 Curry leaves


Cook Rice:

  • Take rice in a colander or strainer and wash under running cold water until water runs clear. Or rinse them 2-3 times in a bowl until the water is not cloudy anymore.
  • Instant Pot: Take rice in the instant pot insert, add water, and cover. Add around 1 inch of water to the instant pot liner, place a rack, and place the rice container on the rack. Cover with a lid, keep the valve to a sealing position. Cook on manual (high pressure) for 12 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, open the lid once the pin drops.
    Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Cook for 5-6 whistles on medium heat.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. The rice should be soft and almost mushy.

Mix With Yogurt:

  • Once cooled, add yogurt and salt to the rice. Mix well.
  • If the mixture feels too thick, adjust the consistency by adding milk or water.

Make Tempering:

  • Heat oil in a small tadka pan. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  • Add urad dal and cumin seeds. Wait for them to sizzle and change color slightly.
  • Add minced ginger and finely chopped green chili. Sauté briefly.
  • Add hing and curry leaves.
  • Immediately pour this tempering over the curd rice and mix.


It is important to let the rice cool down before adding yogurt. Why? There are few reasons.
  • Yogurt may curdle if added into piping hot rice.
  • Temperature difference will give shock the rice and rice grains turns hard.
  • It will thicken as it cools and you’ll loose the right curd rice consistency.
Always use fresh (not-sour) yogurt to get the best flavor.


Calories: 374kcal (19%) | Carbohydrates: 50g (17%) | Protein: 11g (22%) | Fat: 14g (22%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (25%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 27mg (9%) | Sodium: 1.35mg | Potassium: 388mg (11%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 10g (11%) | Vitamin A: 361IU (7%) | Vitamin C: 84mg (102%) | Calcium: 295mg (30%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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