Yogurt Rice


Savory, cool yogurt rice, or "curd rice," as it's referred to on the Indian subcontinent, is the ultimate comfort food. It's made from Indian household staples—it's really just yogurt, rice and salt, after all—with a variety of ingredients added as embellishments. This take on yogurt rice is seasoned with aromatic spices including asafetida powder, a pungent spice that comes from the roots of a plant that's a cousin to celery and takes on a flavor similar to onion when cooked. Read more about this recipe and what it means to Padma Lakshmi here.

Yogurt Rice
Photo: Jacob Fox
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins


  • 2 cups cooked brown or white basmati rice, at room temperature

  • 1 ¾ cups whole-milk plain dahi (see Tip) or yogurt

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cup pomegranate arils

  • ¾ teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida powder (see Tip)

  • 1/2-1 medium green chile with seeds, preferably serrano, diced

  • 5 medium fresh curry leaves

  • 1 tablespoon white gram lentils (see Tip)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  1. Combine rice, dahi (or yogurt) and salt in a medium bowl; knead together with your hands or a fork. Stir in pomegranate arils.

  2. Combine mustard seeds and asafetida powder in a small bowl. Combine chile and curry leaves in another small bowl. Set both near the stove, along with lentils (once you start cooking, the process goes quickly). Keep a lid nearby, in case the ingredients start to spatter.

  3. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the lentils and cook until just beginning to turn golden, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low. Add the mustard seeds and asafetida powder. Stir until you hear a popping sound, then add the chile and curry leaves. Stir for 30 seconds, then remove from heat.

  4. Pour the mixture over the rice mixture and stir well with a spoon. Garnish with additional fried curry leaves, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Sometimes called "curd" in India, dahi is yogurt that's fermented at a lower temperature for longer than other yogurts, giving it a rich and silky mouthfeel. Look for it in well-stocked grocery stores.

Look for asafetida powder and white gram lentils at Indian grocery stores or online.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

199 Calories
8g Fat
27g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 199
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 5g 10%
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Vitamin A 39IU 1%
Sodium 196mg 9%
Potassium 235mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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