Thayir Sadam (Spiced Yogurt Rice) with Garlicky Beets

Thayir Sadam (Spiced Yogurt Rice) with Garlicky Beets

A dakr blue plate of Thayir Sadam with Beets on a wood table

A staple in southern India, thayir sadam or yogurt rice is a no-fuss, quick, delicious meal for the days when you just don't feel like putting in all that effort. Though, typically eaten as a tummy-taming and cooling final course, we often make this on busy weeknights and serve alongside some quick veg. 

Pictured here is our take on thayir sadam with our quick garlicky beets made with Zing Mogambo Garlic Spread. We accidentally got a bit carried away with the tadka for the version in the photo (we've explained what a tadka is below), so you definitely don't need that much, but you might want it anyway ;) 

Serves 2

Prep time: 30 minutes


For the rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup natural, plain yogurt 
  • Salt to taste. We use Zesti Seasoning Salt instead & highly recommend it!
  • 3-4 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • a pinch of hing or asafoetida (optional, and found at any South Asian store. If you use this, a literal pinch goes a long way - seriously!)  
  • 1.5 tsp of ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the beets:


  1. Cook the rice and set aside. If you have leftover rice in the fridge and have been wondering what to do with - well you can stop wondering now.
  2. Mix yogurt with rice and season to taste with Zesti. If you don't have any, use kosher salt + pepper and add a pinch of cayenne or paprika. Mix well and set aside. 
  3. At this point you're essentially done unless you're planning to level up your game and follow through with the optional steps. We wont judge you if you don't, but your South Indian friends might not be impressed. 
  4. Make a tadka! A tadka is hot oil/ghee tempered with spices and used to finish many dishes in South Asian cooking. To make a tadka for the thayir sadam: heat some ghee or butter in a small sauce pan. Drop a couple mustard seeds in there to see if they pop. It's hot enough if after a few seconds the seed begins to do a little dance - you will see/know exactly what we mean when it happens. We'd keep the kids and dog out of the kitchen if you're attempting a tadka for the first time. 
  5. This next step will happen really fast, so be ready! When the oil is hot enough (i.e. the single mustard seed is doing a dance solo), add the remaining mustard seeds. When they all start to pop, remove from the heat, add the curry leaves and asafoetida and pour over the yogurt rice. That's it you're done! 
  6. Now on to the beets. It's pretty straightforward. Cut your boiled beets into your desired shape (we went for a lazy small dice) & mix well with Mogambo. Serve alongside your yogurt rice.

Notes: Don't have beets or the time to watch them boil? Most days we're not organized enough either. Wash, peel and cut some carrots (2-3). Mix with Mogambo & you're done. Sub carrots for literally any veggie of your choice: roast, boil, saute + Mogambo! 

About Zesti
Zesti is inspired by us constantly craving the sweet, spicy, and floral flavours in Jamaican jerk spice. It brightens up everything!

About Mogambo
A fan favourite! Mogambo Spiced Garlic Spread has a smooth garlicky sweetness + a bright, lemony tang + a little spicy kick + perfumed with turmeric earthiness.