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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.

EatingWell Magazine, October 2021


Credit: Jacob Fox

Recipe Summary

15 mins
15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

1/2 cup
199 calories; fat 8g; cholesterol 9mg; sodium 196mg; carbohydrates 27g; dietary fiber 2g; protein 5g; sugars 7g; niacin equivalents 2mg; saturated fat 2g; vitamin a iu 39IU; potassium 235mg.