Yogurt Rice or Thayir Choru

Following on from my previous post on South Indian food and Beetroot Thoran, I present Yogurt Rice or Thayir Choru which is the perfect accompaniment to the thoran and really delicious just on its own with a little pickle. Ammini Ramachandran, author of Grains Greens and Grated Coconuts, a fabulous book on the vegetarian food of Kerala, describes it as a taste of heaven and I’m inclined to agree. In another post, I had shared the recipe for my favourite comfort food, vegetable pillao, which I almost always eat with yogurt and pickle.

This dish is a great way to use leftover plain rice, even the one from the Chinese takeaway which is probably Jasmine Rice. Though Basmati would work best, do give it a try with whatever plain cooked rice you have to hand. I made it with cooked brown Basmati rice. This dish is traditionally served at room temperature or cold. I enjoyed it slightly warmer than room temperature. This recipe is slightly adapted from Ramachandran’s with peanuts instead of cashews.

Yogurt Rice – I could eat this everyday!

Yogurt Rice or Thayir Choru

Serves 6

Preparation Time (with cooked rice): 5 minutes


4 cups cooked rice

1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt or plain coconut milk yogurt with a a few squeezes of lemon for vegans

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons split urad dal (black gram)

1 1/2 teaspoons chana dal (bengal gram)

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

15-20 fresh curry leaves (dried will have to do if you can’t find fresh)

2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced

2 tablespoons coarsely crushed peanuts

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil


In a large bowl, mix the cooked rice (at room temperature or briefly warmed in the microwave) with the yogurt and salt and put aside.

In a small pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds. When they start popping, add the urad and chana dals, and the peanuts. When the dals and peanuts start colouring, add the curry leaves, ginger and green chillies and stir for a minute or two.

Finally pour this mixture/tempering over the yogurt and rice, blend well and serve with some thoran, dal or simply some pickle.

Per Serving: Calories 243, Carbs 38g, Protein 8g, Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 1g, Fibre 1g

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It makes a tasty bed for the beetroot thoran or accompaniment of your choice

3 Replies to “Yogurt Rice or Thayir Choru”

  1. Ronnie B.

    What a lovely dish. I had the good fortune of being in Kenya at the time and tasting this excellent rice dish. Delish!

  2. Pingback: Beetroot Thoran | Cook2Jhoom

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