This might surprise a few. But this rice is often a part of our breakfast. Having two spoons at the end of a sumptuous breakfast is an opportunity few of us in the family would miss. The credit for introducing this dish in our breakfast goes to my brother, Sunder. Early in his working days, Sunder preferred the Curd Rice as breakfast – daily. Amma was happy to fix him that on all working days. Sunder, is a huge fan of the potato, and spicy potato sabzi in particular. He was fond of having this rice and spicy aloo sabzi – a combination that he introduced the family too. Subsequently, until today, Thayir Saadam and potato sabzi combination is a sellout in our family.
Variety of Accompaniments
If you are looking for accompaniments to the classic Curd Rice, undoubtedly, it’s got to be the homemade lime pickle – when you don’t have the tender mango (Vadu Mangai), that is. As a large family, each of us has a different choice for the accompaniment. My mother used to love Vettha Kuzhambu with
the dish. Then there is the Vepillai Katti
, made of powdered citron leaves. There are many other traditional accompaniments to the curd rice like dried and deep-fried Manathaakkali and even “More Milagai” – green chilies, soaked in curd, sun-dried and deep-fried. So, go ahead make your choice, and relish your meal.
Introducing the More Saadham (Buttermilk Rice)
Curd rice has a modest country cousin called the More Saadham or the Buttermilk rice. Usually, Buttermilk or Chaas, bereft of the cream and fat of the curd is a regular at celebration feasts like weddings and other auspicious occasions. Sometimes served mixed with asafoetida and raw curry leaves, buttermilk rice is usually the finale of a three-course meal consisting of Sambhar rice, Rasam Rice as the first two courses. Indeed, in the restaurants of Chennai and most of Tamilnadu, it is a practice to serve the buttermilk rice as a part of the full lunch meal, on a banana leaf.
Simple Steps for a Great Curd
- Use a variety of rice that gets soft and mushy easily. Basmati is not ideal for curd rice.
- For the tempering, use the simple mustard seeds, and the curry leaves. Exotic additions like pomegranate seeds etc are not really a part of the original recipe. But, if you like exotica in your curd rice, go ahead and add those pomegranate seeds !
- One useful tip for the longevity of this rice: If you don’t want it to go sour soon, make the dish with curd, but with milk, especially in summers. Add a bit of curd at the end. This will ensure that the rice stays fresh for a long time
- Do not use green chilies in the tempering. Green chilies cause the curd rice to go sour sooner.
- The final consistency of the rice should be not very thick or not very watery.
Cooker Curd Rice: An Original
This recipe is courtesy my sister, Lalitha. To get curd rice that is soft, delicious and evenly consistent, she uses the cooker to cook the curd rice. She takes one portion of cooked rice, one and a half portion of water, and a cup of milk along with salt. She then pressure cooks them for three or four whistles. Once the cooker is opened, she mashes it with a masher. Finally, she adds curd, and the tempering to it. Cooker Curd Rice is ready to be served! Unusually though, this is hot or warm curd rice!