Recipe: Buttermilk or Yoghurt Curry

My first ever yoghurt curry experience was from a Parsi lady from India. It was a life changing experience – the creaminess of the yoghurt with the spices  is a wonderful pairing, and once you’ve had a yoghurt curry, there is no looking back. This recipe is very very simple – few spices, and not much chilli. It lets the yoghurt shine.

I recommend reading these posts before cooking with yoghurt or buttermilk:

Note that Indian Buttermilk is very different to the product called Buttermilk outside of India. Confused? Read the second of the two links above.

Browse all of our Yoghurt Curries, and all of our Yoghurt recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

Yoghurt Curry

Buttermilk or Yoghurt Curry

4 cups Indian buttermilk, OR 3 cups Indian yoghurt with 1 cup water
2 tspn toor dhal, soaked for several hours
2 tspn raw rice, soaked for several hours
pinch asafoetida
1 Tblspn Besan flour
sea salt
0.5 tspn turmeric

2.5 – 3 tspn ghee
1 tspn mustard seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
6 – 8 curry leaves
2 – 3 Indian dried red chillies

Drain the toor dhal and the rice well, and fry with the asafoetida in a little of the ghee. When golden brown, grind them fine in a blender.

Mix the ground rice and dal with the besan flour  and stir into the Indian buttermilk or yoghurt. Add the turmeric powder and salt to taste. If using yoghurt, add 1 cup water. Hand beat the mixture a little with a wooden spoon, to aerate it

Heat the yoghurt/buttermilk to a low simmer.

In a tadka pan or separate small pan, heat the remainder of the ghee and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop and add the cumin seeds. As they begin to darken add the dried chillies, and curry leaves. Pour this onto the buttermilk or yoghurt mixture, simmer for another minute, and it is ready.

Eat as a side dish with other curries, ladle over rice or eat with chapatis.




This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. It is cross posted on our sister site, A Life (Time) of Cooking, as part of the Retro Recipes series which documents our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.


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