Festival Recipes, Rice

Dodyonam or Thayir Saadam | Tempered Curd Rice | Easy Lunchbox Recipes | Iyengar Recipes

Before the invasion of fast foods or ready-to-eat snacks into our kitchens, the healthiest lunchbox recipe for any self-respecting Tamilian would be Curd Rice or Thayir Saadam. Accompanied by pickle, this hearty meal made its way into thousands of people’s tummies in the heat of the afternoon – for both office and school goers, and no one complained 🙂 No tummy upsets, no reason for indigestion. The uber cool curd rice was the perfect antidote to the scorching sun, and it also made perfect sense for the probiotic bacteria from the yoghurt to soothe the tummy. How simple life was then ? Till we landed with unknown and foreign terms like lactose intolerance, nuts allergy, lacto-ovo-vegetarian !! Whew … Wonder if our forefathers also suffered similar maladies but never had names to express.

Anyways, back to today’s post. I have put together an authentic Iyengar recipe – Dodyonam (aka Curd Rice or Thayir Saadam). This is generally served at South Indian temples (esp Srivaishnava temples) as prasad, post the day’s offerings to the Lord. I particularly remember S telling me, at the beginning of our married life to make “Anjaneyar Kovil Dodyonam“. I am like what ?? When MIL visited us few months later, I was to learn about this one fascination S has about this semi hot, gooey concoction with simple ingredients and heavenly to taste. Of course in temples, the quantity one gets is limited and sans pickle too. But this tastes heavenly with lemon pickle& Orange Peel Gojju (both my fav!!)

Am already drooling about eating this today afternoon, while even posting this recipe 🙂


Sending this to:

Check my fellow Marathonershere

Prep time :5 – 10 mins

Cook time : 15 mins

Serves : 3


  • Rice – 2 cups (cook slightly mushy)
  • Milk – 1/2 cup (I used low fat)
  • Curd / yoghurt – 2 cups
  • Salt – to taste
  • White unsalted Butter – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Oil – 1 tsp

Tempering : 

  • Mustard seeds, Grated ginger (1 tsp), Urad Dal (1 tsp), Channa Dal (1/2 tsp), Broken dry red chillies (4 -5), Curry leaves (few), Asafoetida / Hing – a generous pinch.
  • Coriander leaves – for garnish


1. You may use green chillies or even Molaga Vathal (dry pickled chillies) instead of red chillies 

2. Milk and butter are optional, but add to the creaminess of the dish

3. Use only short grained rice for best results.


1) Wash and cook rice till slightly mushy (4 -5 whistles – use only short grained rice)

2) Cool thoroughly and spread in a large plate (called Tambalam in Tamil). Prepare tempering and pour onto the rice

3) With your hands, mix in the tempering with salt nicely. Add yoghurt little by little and start incorporating it into the rice. You may use more or less yoghurt according to your liking

4) If not serving immediately, add the milk and butter and keep for 1 – 2 hours. 

5) Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with lime pickle !

6) If making this for an event / potluck, mix milk ahead and rerfreigerate slightly. You can also garnish with slices of green grapes or pomogranate pearls 🙂 



  1. The Pumpkin Farm

    Looks divine Kalyani, curd rice has such a calming effect anytime

  2. My favorite comfort food. Yummy.

    Event: Sweet Luv
    Event: Strawberries

  3. Yummy rice..

    Cuisine Delights
    My First Event – "COLOURFUL HOLI".

  4. Since I've been asked cut dairy from my diet this is one food I miss the most… Soy curd doesn't really make up for this authentic taste…

  5. Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen

    Real Comfort food kalyani!!!! Very Tempting bowl there!!!

  6. Priya Sreeram

    agree with u- thayir sadam according to me is the panacea for all ills- slurp & very hearty bowl there

  7. your point about how our elders had no trouble in digestion etc i agree with that and now we come up with various terms and god knows what.

    coming back to this dish it looks yummy from here and i m reminded of one dish my mom used to make with left over rice. mix rice in curd then add temperings and add a bit of besan to it. perfect for evening snack. i have actually forgotten this would ask mom again. she calls it khatta bhaat

  8. Thair sadam anytine for a madrasi like me. Pics are too goo kalyani

  9. The best way to end a meal..

  10. Looks so inviting!

  11. vaishali sabnani

    Kalyani if I would be in Mumbai…I wud definitely self invite myself for tese yum yum..rice..but tell me if you pack these dont they go sour…?I mean specially for kids…

  12. can't do without curd rice…I add raisins and/ or cut grapes which takes this simple curd rice onto another level!

  13. Chef Mireille

    this is completely new to me…looks so creamy…like a savory rice pudding!

  14. This looks totally delicious..I would love to try this..Bookmarked.


  15. Sensible Vegetarian

    Favorite comfort food.

  16. this is my ever favorite comfort food!….i think i am going to make myself some!

  17. Comfort food at its best.. a must have recipe.. 🙂

  18. Super delicious !!!

    Ongoing Event – CC-Dish For Loved Ones

  19. Suma Gandlur

    We love it too Kalyani.

  20. Love it Kalyani.

  21. Gayathri Kumar

    Very delicious saadam. Looks absolutely divine…

  22. A Kamalika Krishmy

    Anytime comfort food …

  23. Archana Vivek

    nice comfort food

  24. Awesome….

    visit @my blog for my first event in ur free time 🙂
    Ongoing Event–Color n Sweet-HOLI FEST
    Preeti's Kitchen Life

  25. I love tempered curd rice… simple and comforting… nice click

  26. My fav too…

Thanks so much for dropping by.
We would love to hear how you liked this recipe.
Do take a moment to rate this recipe and leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *