From Curd Rice To Shrikhand: 5 Desi Dishes That Use Yogurt
Image Credit: Curd rice is made by mixing cooked rice with yogurt and salt, and then adding a tadka of mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Delicate and milky, the flavour of yogurt forms a good base for mixing other, stronger flavours. Healthy and versatile, it is the main ingredient in many Indian dishes. Both savoury and sweet dishes use yogurt; it is used as it is in some and fermented in others. It adds a wonderful depth and texture to every dish it is used in. From curd rice to shrikhand, we list five desi dishes that use yogurt:

Curd rice

Cooling in the summer and comforting in the winter, curd rice is a tasty dish loved by many. It is made by mixing cooked rice with yogurt and salt, and then adding a tadka of mustard seeds and curry leaves. Dried red chillies may also be used. Popular in Southern Indian states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the dish is refreshing and wholesome. Curd rice may be served warm or at room temperature, plain or with tadka. The version with the tadka is also offered as prasadam in temples.


Kadhi hails from Rajasthan and is made with gram flour and yogurt. It may be eaten plain or with pakoras (fritters) dipped in it, accompanied by rice. Rajasthani and Gujarati kadhi is different from the kadhi found in Uttar Pradesh—the former is slightly sweet as jaggery or sugar is added to it. Gujarati kadhi uses buttermilk instead of yogurt and is thinner in consistency. In states like Maharashtra, kadhi is made with kokum. This variant is called solkadhi, and there are also others made with raw mango. 


Raita is omnipresent in both Indian households and restaurants. Served as a side with heavy curries or a starter with papad, it is a refreshing concoction that can be made with different ingredients like cucumber, potato, tomato, onions and even pineapple. Modern versions use avocado and pomegranate, and some chefs even flavour raita with wasabi. Raita adds a whole other flavour dimension to a meal that might otherwise only contain meat-based curries, vegetables, lentils and rice or breads.

Mishti doi

Originating from Bangladesh, mishti doi is a type of fermented sweet yogurt that has gone on to become popular even in parts of India, especially West Bengal. It is also eaten in Assam, Tripura and Odisha, where it is called ‘mitha doi’ and ‘mitha dahi’. Mishti doi is made by boiling milk until it thickens, and then sweetening it with sugar or date molasses, and letting the milk ferment overnight. The sweet treat is always prepared and stored in earthen pots as they allow the gradual evaporation of water through their porous walls, which further thickens the yogurt.


A traditional Indian sweet that is claimed to have been invented by both Maharashtrians and Gujaratis, shrikhand is made with strained yogurt. Legend has it that shrikhand was invented by traveling herders who strained out the whey to be able to carry their yogurt more easily while traveling. The strained yogurt turned sour when it was morning, and so they mixed it with sugar and nuts to make it edible. The dessert is made by adding sugar, saffron, and cardamom to strained yogurt.