Yogurt Rice

In Southern India, no meal is complete without yogurt rice. It is not an elaborate deal but when you consider how spicy the main meal is, it makes sense to finish up with cooling yogurt and rice. In a typical south Indian meal, yogurt rice is the third course. Often, to jazz up the dish, we’d add finely chopped ripe mango, pomergranate seeds, chopped pineappl, chopped figs, dates, or any berry that is not likely to ooze funky colors into the pristine yogurt. It sounds sweet, but don’t be fooled; this is a somewhat spicy dish that is often complemented by the adition of sweet fruits.

You will need:
1 Cup Plain yogurt
2 Cups hot cooked white rice ( a little overcooked, it you can manage it, without turning it to mush)
1 tsp (black mustard seed, urad dhal)
Fresh curry leaves ( approx. 5 leaves)
Salt to taste
1 finely chopped green pepper (the Indian store sells these or try Thai chillies)
1Tbsp oil

Combine the yogurt and rice in a serving dish. In a fry pan, heat up 1 Tbsp oil and add the curry leaves, mustard, urad dhal and green chilli. Cover the pan as the mustard will splatter when it bursts in the oil. This should take less than a minute. In fact, you will hear the seeds bursting under the lid. Do not let it burn! Add this to the yogurt rice, add salt to taste. Mix well. You can eat this dish warm, cold or at room temperature. Add the add-ins just before serving. Enjoy!

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