Ma’s Special Curd Rice / Thayir Saadam

Curd Rice Or Thayir Sadam is South Indian Comfort Food. Cooling for brutal summers and gut friendly with the probiotic goodness of curd. Extremely travel friendly food and Gluten Free.
Creamy Curd Rice For Summer

A Quintessential Comfort Food, Curd Rice Or Thayir Sadam is one of the most popular All Season South Indian Favorite Food. The only way to deal with brutal summers this year is to gorge on a yummy bowl of cooling Curd Rice. Curd Rice is also known as Yogurt Rice. In Tamil Nadu it is popular by the name of Thayir Saadam whereas in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Curd Rice is referred to as Daddojanam.

Thayir Sadam as we South Indians call it, may look and feel simple but not everyone can dish out a perfect Curd Rice. Ma (As I fondly called my mother) was the best! I have learnt the recipe of making the perfect Curd Rice or Thayir Sadam from her and till date, this is my go to recipe to please family, friends and guests at home.

Thayir Saadam is extremely delicious, gluten free but not vegan (has curd and milk both) and extremely summer friendly food. There is not a South Indian in this world who doesn’t like eating Curd Rice (atleast I haven’t crossed paths with one yet) Curd Rice is an emotion which cannot be expressed in words but if I have to describe it in one word – Comfort food!

It is a simple recipe that includes Cooked Rice, Curd and basic tempering. It is known as South Indian Comfort Food for a particular reason – It is soft, melt in mouth, couple of spoons and you immediately feel satisfied.

Thayir Saadam Topped with a tantalizing Tadka or Tempering

Thayir Saadam Topped with a tantalizing Tadka or Tempering

It is excellent for long distance travel and/or short journey, kid friendly, is Gluten Free and recommended food during Summers. It is a meal by itself, doesn’t need any side dish in particular. However, Fried chillies or a tantalizing tadka / tempering on top just does the trick for us at home.

Tips to Make Creamy Curd Rice at home and/or Travel –

(1) Short Grain White Rice – Use Sona Masuri, Ponni, Kolam etc.

The proportion of Rice to Water is 1 cup to 2.5 cups water (1 cup is 250 ml measurement). The rice should be easily mashable post cooking with a back of the spoon, hence the extra water while cooking.

(2) Good Quality Boiled and Cooled Milk

Creamy Curd Rice needs Milk. The milk should be at room temperature while mixing with freshly cooked and cooled rice. This helps for travelling too. Never add hot milk with rice or Hot Rice with cooled milk. It leads to digestion issues. Both the ingredients (rice and milk) should be room temperature.

(3) Fresh Thick Curd (should not be tangy or khatta (hindi))

Quantity of Curd depends on follows –

  • If the Curd Rice is for immediate consumption – Please add equal portions of milk and curd. (check the recipe below)
  • If the Curd Rice is for Travel, Add 2 ½ cups of milk and ½ cup of curd only. 

(4) Salt is added only after the mixing of ingredients (rice, milk, curd) and before the final tempering.

Creamy Curd Rice Ready to Eat
Creamy Curd Rice Ready to Eat

One of the most frequently asked questions to me by friends is How do you South Indians eat Curd Rice at night? Don’t you catch cold? Curd is supposed to be had only during the day time as its cooling by nature and hence not recommended at night.It leads to mucus formation and people who constantly complain of cold and cough generally avoid consuming curd at night. I would advise for such people to keep curd at room temperature and consume.

Train Journeys, many years ago, were incomplete without Kalavai Sadam or Variety Rice. Curd Rice being one of them, won hands down and made its way in a steel dabba with a small box of pickle. Thayir Sadam is a part of most temple prasadam varieties in South India. However, one cannot match the taste of the divine prasad.

I thought since summers are apt time for travel, let me update this old post that I blogged in 2017 for my Mother’s 12th Death Anniversary (29th September), in her fond memory. The post has been updated with new pictures, an elaborate recipe, recipe card and step by step pictures too of the process.

Let us look at the recipe in detail and make my Ma’s Out of the World Thayir Sadam. Not a day went by when she didn’t have her favourite Curd Rice and till date, whenever I cook this for family and friends, I remember her fondly!

Looking for More South Indian Rice Varieties – Check out Lemon Rice, Tomato Rice, Manga Sadam or Raw Mango Rice, Bisi Bele Bath and Coconut Rice

Recipe for Curd Rice / Thayir Saadam

1 cup is 200 ml measurement

Ingredients –

  • 1 cup Rice ( I have used Ponni Raw Rice)
  • 2.5 cups of Water for cooking Rice
  • 2 cups of Cow Milk (boiled and cooled)
  • 2 cups of Fresh Thick Curd or Yogurt
  • 1 tblsp Ginger Finely grated
  • 2-3 green chillies finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Tempering

  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal
  • 3 to 4 nos. Dry Red Chillies
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
  • Oil 2 tsps

Method –

  1. Pressure cook rice (1 cup rice = 2.5 cups of water).
  2. Once the rice is cooled slightly, mash it a little with the back of your spoon.
  3. Add milk to the rice and mix well.
  4. Now add the yogurt or curd, grated ginger, salt to taste and mix well.
  5. Prepare for tempering by heating a small pan, add oil and the mustard seeds, chana dal, whole red chillies and curry leaves.
  6. Pour the tempering over the curd rice, mix well and serve immediately or pack for travel.
  7. You can alternatively, chill this rice for some time in the refrigerator and serve.
Ponni Raw Rice
Rice cooked in pressure cooker
Mash the rice with a back of the spoon for soft texture
Mashed Rice ready
Fresh Cow Milk used for Creamy Curd Rice
Rice Mixed with Milk
Adding Fresh Thick Curd for Curd Rice
Himalayan Pink Salt and Grated ginger
Green Chillies with Curd Rice
Tempering preparation
Curd Rice is Ready to Eat

Notes / Tips –

  1. Please do not use Basmati Rice for making Curd Rice. Short grain rice is most preferred.
  2. If you wish to make Curd rice with leftover rice, steam it once in a pressure cooker by adding a splash of water so the rice softens. The idea of eating curd rice shouldn’t involve dry coarse rice. It should be soft & mushy in texture.
  3. Adding of ginger is optional. It flavours the rice, aids in digestion & is beneficial to people who have weak stomach, acidity problems, bloating.

If you try this recipe at home, please give me a shout out / Tag Me on any of my social media handles.

Ma’s Special Curd Rice / Thayir Saadam

South Indian Comfort Food, Summer Friendly, Travel Food, Gluten Free, Probiotic Goodness of Curd and a tantalizing tadka or tempering on top makes this Curd Rice an absolute treat for the family.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: curd rice, kalavai sadam, summer recipes, temple prasadam, thayir sadam
Servings: 3 people
Author: Vidya Narayan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rice (Ponni Raw Rice or any short grain white rice variety) 1 cup is 200 ml
  • 2 1/2 cups Water For pressure cooking
  • 2 cups Cow Milk Boiled and cooled
  • 2 cups Fresh Thick Yogurt or Curd
  • 1 tblsp Ginger (Grated)
  • 2-3 nos Green chillies chopped
  • Salt to taste I have used himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds (for tempering)
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal (for tempering)
  • 3-4 nos. Dry Red Chillies broken into 2 pieces
  • 2 tsp Oil Use any neutral oil or Sesame oil
  • A sprig of Curry leaves
  • A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida Skip if you need the recipe Gluten Free

Instructions

  • Pressure cook rice (1 cup rice = 2.5 cups of water)

  • Once the rice is cooled, mash it a little (while warm).

  • Add milk to the rice and mix well.

  • Now add the yogurt or curd, grated ginger, salt to taste and mix well.

  • Prepare for tempering by heating a small pan, add oil and the mustard seeds, chana dal, whole red chillies and curry leaves.

  • Pour the tempering over the curd rice, mix well and serve immediately or pack for travel.

  • You can alternatively, chill this rice for some time in the refrigerator and serve

Notes

  1. Please do not use Basmati Rice for making Curd Rice.
  2. If you wish to make Curd rice with leftover rice, steam it once in a pressure cooker by adding a splash of water so the rice softens. The idea of eating curd rice shouldn’t involve dry coarse rice. It should be soft & mushy in texture.
  3. Adding of ginger is optional. It flavours the rice, aids in digestion & is beneficial to people who have weak stomach, acidity problems, bloating.
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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Lovely tribute to a strong woman !

  2. Our meal is incomplete without Curd rice.Thanks for the tips.

  3. Woow nice recipe and great tribute to your mom

  4. Dear Vidya,
    This post touched me on so many levels! When I was growing up, my Aai (mom) always made curd rice for me as I did not feel full or satisfied until I had my curd rice. I would even eat some after having dinner at a restaurant. Thank you so much for sharing your Ma’s recipe and her memories with us. I know how precious these are as I treasure my Aai’s recipes and memories too. She taught me how to cook, share the knowledge with others and so much more.
    Love
    Sandhya

    1. Dear Sandhya Tai, Thank you so much for taking the time & going through the post. It means a lot to me especially since it was a dedication to my ma. Mothers are tremendously special, growing up we don’t realise that but when we are older or when they are no more, we realise their true value & worth, their advice, suggestions & also loads of scolding which by the way is the reason we are doing well by the grace of God! Glad we both had amazing mothers who shaped us into who we are today including the love for food & cooking. Loads of love n hugs, Vidya

      1. So true about our mothers, Vidya. Sending you love and hugs too!

  5. Mouth watering recipe.

    1. Thank you

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