Comfort Food

Nothing spells comfort food to most tamilians like rice and yogurt. After a few days of eating out, I want to run back to the comfort of thayir saadam aka rice and yogurt.

Come summer, my mom would cook rice in the morning and after it cools down, soak the cooked rice in a wee bit of buttermilk, water, salt, hing and curry leaves. We would have this for dinner with a whole bunch of accompaniments. This is traditionally made with rice a day old. But since it was such a big hit in our home, mom had to make it this way.This is called palaya saadam in tamil and the literal translation being old rice. Soaking the rice in a clay pot will keep the rice cool and make it even more refreshing.

In the blistering heat of summer, palaya saadam soothes your throat and your soul. The foodies that we were, we were not happy with just the rice. So lets talk about the accompaniments. We would definitely have ripe mango cubed, appalam, onion vadagam, more mozhada ( chillies soak in buttermilk, dried and deep fried), freshly made mango pickles,thovayal ( a thick chutney). On special occasions, we would take all of this to our terrace and dad would sit in the center and all of us around him with small plates with all the fixings that we wanted. He would give us a handful in our cupped fingers – that was absolute fun. We would eat a lot more than we normally did. I remember trying to swallow the food as fast as possible so that I can stretch my hands for more.

Our lunch today was this simple food and an egg curry as well. Nothing can be more simple than this meal and yet it is the most fulfilling.

10 years ago


  1. awwh! this post makes me nostalgic, Shankari! All those curd rice, chilies, appalam, mango are just my fav. too. It might be simple, but so refreshing, filling food both for tummy and mind.

    Even now my hubby does the same like your dad. So we call him “annadaata” for fun.

  2. shankari, there’s a problem with your e-mail. please send me an e-mail from any address other than your hotmail.

  3. i guess every south indian family has interesting story with thayir sadham and true having thayir sadham with vadagam/pickle is a bliss…

  4. Shankari-

    thayir sadam is definitely the world’s best comfort food and all the accompaniments are yummy. I think you missed out vadu mangai or mavadu.

  5. This is another delicious dish that we might want to try for our party. Thanks for you mango and yogurt cream dish recipe. We’ll definitely try it out!

  6. Thayir saadham is my comfort food too – spoken like a true blue-blood tamilian 🙂 Mor milagai is the best though or even vetha kozhambu.

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