Curd rice originated as a grain saving technique in South India. Cooked rice and milk spoil within hours in the tropic heat of South India. However, if the two were combined, leftover food could not only survive the next day (without a refrigerator in the summer) but also transform into a tasty morning breakfast.

Dahi Pakhala fermented probiotic curd rice

Science behind it: Cooked Rice, with its high moisture content, spoils fast. Milk (even curd) also spoils within hours at room temperature. However, when buttermilk is added to leftover cooked rice, the fusion creates a probiotic Lacto-fermented dish that can be stored for 24 hours.

The milk (curd or buttermilk) not only provides the necessary liquid medium protecting the substrate from mold and harmful spoilage bacteria. The rice provided the low-cost substrate for the lactobacillus to propagate without turning curd into too sour to drink. The combination made the delicious wholemeal (something that you can eat and quenches the thirst as well).

Curd rice prepared today is an instant food made by mixing curd with hot steamed rice and garnishing. It may have the same taste as our traditional food but not the same health benefits.

Probiotic does not mean buying expensive superfood. Our kitchen is equipped to make a lot of healthy preparations that can restore our gut fauna, are easy to digest and provide the necessary micro-nutrition needed.

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21 years of experience in Home Brewing and author of Arishtam (India's first homebrew Guide Book).

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