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Thayir Sadam Recipe | Tamil Nadu Curd Rice Recipe

Thayir sadam - Traditional Tamil Nadu rice recipe with rice, curd and spices.

Thayir sadam or curd rice is the Tamil delicacy, made with rice, curd and spices. Due to the cooling effect of curd, thayir sadam is widely prepared during the hot summer season to get a nice cooling effect. This period is the hottest time in Tamil Nadu and it is necessary to hydrate our body with cooling food and lots of water. Moreover. it is an unavoidable item of any Tamil sadya.

Being in Tamil Nadu for more than ten years, I absorb some tastes of Tamil culture. In the beginning, it was really difficult for me to accept many of Tamil taste, but now I am very much used to it and enjoying it. Luckily, I have a great Tamil neighbor, who solves all my queries about Tamil cuisines. Curd rice is one such dish which adopted from her.  It became one of the favorite dish of my kids and I used to make it for their lunch box.

We can make so many different tastes in curd rice by adding different types of  vegetables. Curd rice with cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, fried boondies, and fried chilies (kondatttam mulaku) etc  are some of them. You can opt any of this ingredient and feel the difference in each time. This curd curd rice is so common that you will find this on any occasions like marriages, valakappu, etc. Sometimes is offered to god and served as prasadam in temples.

The word thayir denote curd where as sadam means anything that is made with cooked rice, You can also go through another Tamil rice variety in our blog, the lemon rice. This is also tasty and popular as curd rice


Thayir Sadam Recipe | Tamil Nadu Curd Rice Recipe | How To Make Tamil Style Curd Rice At Home

Traditional Tamil cuisine with rice, curd and spices

Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes



  • 1.5 cup Tamil Ponni Rice / raw rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 to 1.5 cups curd
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 green chilly finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • Asafoetida as needed
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste



Direction of preparation of Thayir sadam

Preparation of rice for Thayir sadam

Curd rice or thayir sadam is traditionally prepared using Tamil ponni rice (the Tamil Nadu boiled rice) or raw rice.  You can also use basmati rice, but it won't give the typical Tamil curd rice taste. To get an exact curd rice taste, you have to choose either Tamil ponni rice or raw rice. Also, curd rice is prepared with white colored rice only. 
  1. Take washed and cleaned rice in a pressure cooker. It is important to wash the rice in fresh water at least two to three times until the water runs clear. Then transfer into a pressure cooker.
  2. Put four cups of water and rice in a pressure cooker and cook on high flame for one whistle. Then reduce the flame, and continue to cook on low flame for next fifteen minutes. You should not count any whistles came during this period. You should have to cook till fifteen minutes are over. 
Preparation of curd rice

 This is the easiest step in making curd rice. Care should be taken while 
  1. The rice should be cooked well or we can say the rice should be over cooked, then only we can mash it easily. Then mash into coarse paste when the rice is still hot. It should be done with the back of the spoon or with a wooden ladle until you get a semi-mashed rice paste. This step should be done when the rice is hot. Once cool down, you may feel difficult to mash.
  2. Then pour one cup of milk and mix well. You can also use water instead of milk, but for better taste, use milk. Mix well and wait until the rice cool completely.
  3. Once the rice cooled completely, you can add beaten curd and mix well. The curd rice is usually semi-thick consistency. Here I am using only 1.5 cups of milk, but this will not be enough as the rice will absorb moisture when it rest. If it thickens, you can loosen it with some curd or milk. Also use less sour curd if you are not serving immediately.
Seasoning the curd rice

Tamil way of seasoning is followed here. The flavors of mustard, curry leaves and asafoetida elevate this dish to a great extend

  1. You can start with heating one or two tablespoons of oil in a small wok. Once the oil turn hot, put mustard seeds and wait till it crackle.
  2. Once the mustard seeds stop cracking, you can put some ginger and green chilies finely chopped. These need to be sauteed over low flame for a few minutes, till the raw smell vanishes. Then switch off the flame and  put one spring curry leaves and asafoetida powder. Give a mix. 
Final mixing of curd rice

This step is versatile. You can incorporate any veggies of salad veggies of your choice. As I already said, you can put fried boondies and fried red chilies also.
  1. Pour the prepared seasoning over the prepared rice along with some grated carrots and coriander leaves. Otherwise, use any garnishing ingredients of your choice.
  2. Mix well and adjust the consistency with milk or curd.
  3. You can serve this dish with potato poriyal or pickle.
Happy cooking

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