Yogurt Rice or Curd Rice as it’s known in India, is the easiest dish to make, and makes any festive meal even more delicious. In South India, no meal is complete without plain yogurt and rice; and on special occasions, vegetables are added to give it a special touch.
Made with plain yogurt, yogurt rice makes a healthy, cool, one-dish meal for a hot, summer afternoon. Make this without the vegetables and eat it with just a little seasoning if you want to soothe an upset stomach.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (including time for cooking rice)
- 2 cups rice (jasmine or any other rice; sticky rice is fine,too)
- 2 cups plain yogurt, regular, nonfat, or lowfat
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup cucumber, finely chopped (or chopped onion, tomato, or grated carrot- optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
- 1/2 tsp urad dal (split black gram)
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, cut into a couple pieces
- 1 tsp ginger, grated (optional)
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
- Cook the rice in a rice cooker or pressure cooker with 4 cups of water. Let the rice cool.
- Heat oil in a small pan and add the chana dal, urad dal, and fry for a few seconds.
- Add mustard seeds, green chillies, red chilli, and ginger.
- When the mustard seeds start to pop, add curry leaves. Let the seasoning cool.
- Mix the rice with chopped cucumber, yogurt, water, and salt.
- Add the seasoning to the yogurt rice. Mix well.
- Garnish with cilantro, and serve.
The vegetables are optional. Yogurt rice tastes great with the seasoning alone.
If you want to take this dish for picnics or trips, and will not be serving it within 4 hours, instead of 2 cups of yogurt, add 1 cup yogurt and 1 cup milk. This will prevent the yogurt from becoming sour. You can do the same if making ahead for parties, and don’t want to refrigerate it.