Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thayir Saadham & Friends

Thayir Saadham, thacchi mammum, bagela bath, dhadhyonniyam, morunjjaam, or thayir soru, (derogatorily referred to as curd rice or yogurt rice, by people who are less cultured) is probably one of the most satisfying concoction mankind has put together. Who would have thought of mixing thayir and saadham? More importantly why did they think of mixing the two? It must have happened by accident. Such brilliance rarely happens by design. Although I wonder if it wasn't made for thayir saadham, why was curd made at all?


Ah! Stuff poems are made of. It is filling. It provides immense satisfaction. It is certainly very very tasty. Plus it is good food in warm conditions. Importantly, it makes you sleep for several hours after the food is consumed. My best memories of thayir saadham is when a child has graduated to "kai'la saadham' stage. This is right after 'ooti vidu' stage. And right before the stage where middle class families get confident enough to take the bold step from kozhachu-vitta buttermilk to pure thick thayir (the phase where you ask your mom to reserve a big cube of surface curd for you). The stage I am referring to is the one where 4-5 'mooku ozhugi' 'arai drowser' children sit around grandma during summer vacation. Grandma, in a single stroke, completes the difficult job of making children eat. Here is a look at the glorious facets of thayir saadham and its best friends. Note that qualification to be a friend of thayir saadham means it has to have good 'thottuka' abilities. In that the friend must mix well with Thayir Saadham and should be consumable along with the said 'saadham'.

Thayir Saadham and Mango Variants

Mango is the best known and most popular friend of Thayir saadham. There is probably no buddy or pal that Thayir saadham gets along with with better. They are so close that one suspects them of being in a relationship. Since both Mango and Thayir Saadham are natives of Thamizh country there is no wonder both get along so fine. Stuff perfect arranged marriages are made of. That is because Mango is capable of taking more avatharams than Maha Vishnu himself. A simple thayir saadham in kallu uppu and basic Maavadu is enough to satiate an army. Maavadu is the more popular of Mango avatars to befriend thayir saadham. however, it not my favorite. It is a good friend, I agree. Right up there in the best friend category. My favorite best friend is clearly the Maangai Thokku. I don't care if its a home made thokku or Ruchi/Priya brand thokku. Maangai thokku rocks the thayir saadham world. There is no more better combination than these two. Tintin and Haddock, Laurel & Hardy, Goundamani & Senthil, Asterix and Obelix, Thomson & ThomPson can all take the back seat. There is no sight better than mixing maangai thokku with thayir saadham and making everyone wonder if thokku is the side dish or thayir sadham. This is where the correct etiquette for eating thayir saadham must be strictly followed. The curd must drip between your fingers as you transport it from plate to mouth.

Have you ever thought of thottufying a fully ripe mango with thayir saadham? Really you should try it. Take a good banganapalli, peel it off or rip it off in a barbaric fashion and take pieces of mango and mix it with thayir saadham and eat. Its splendid. Maangai paachadi is another rare delicacy that goes very well with thayir saadham. But a gem among Mango friends is super unripe mango that is cut into pieces, mixed with chilli powder and consumed along with thayir saadham. This mango must not be just unripe. It must be super unripe. It must be the extreme opposite of ripe. It should be so unripe that it should just be called 'un' as mixing it with 'ripe' would be an anaethma. Avakkai pickle is another unsung hero among thayir saadham friends. But care must be taken to put more 'saaru' in the avakkai oorgai. Because more than the avakkai, the saaru is where the magic is.

Thayir Saadham and Kazhangus

We have had our ponderings on the king kizhangu before. Not surprisingly, the three kinds of urulai kizhangu are simply awesome with thayir saadham. Especially the kutti-kutti'ya narukkina urulai kizhangu. Seppan-kizhangu, specifically the unroasted variety, also gels well with thayir saadham. Every time I have mentioned in public that potato gels well with thayir saadham, I get a 'I am so offended' looks from the aforementioned public. A look that conveys that I have committed blasphemy. And I am frankly surprised. I also think appalam goes well with thayir saadham. And I always knew that would not be a popular vote thing. However, I always thought potato would win votes in the thayir saadham competition. In the exit poll type survey that I commonly conduct this does not seem to be the case.. People abhor the notion that these two could be mixed. And I never get how anyone could miss this ultimate combo.

Thayir Saadham and "More" Molagai

Now 'more' molagai deserves a separate poem. In fact several poems. As the name goes this molagai goes well with thachi mammu's poorer cousin "more" saadham. The saadham must be watery with 4x more buttermilk than rice. And then molagai is dropped in like a dollop of vannila ice cream falling into a cup filled with 4 gulab jamuns. And there you go. On a hot May afternoon there is nothing better to eat than this combination. In fact if you are on study holidays for college exams and decide to take that crucial 30 minute lunch break, there is nothing else you want to spend time on other than this (of course getting back to studies and staying awake is a different proposition altogether).

One of the best variants of thayir saadham I have eaten is the "dhadhyonniyam". This is the esoteric term for the rice that is handed out hot and smoldering in a "Perumal kovil". It is a distant cousin of 'bagela bath'. But the dhadhyonniyam I am referring to here is not the one that is usually handed out in temples. This is a richer variant of dhadhyonnyam that is made at home. In this version, thick thayir saadham is mixed with more molagai, raisins, cashew nuts, and cut red chilli (all of which are probably thalicchu kottified). And it is the ultimate 'attagasa' version of thayir saadham you will ever eat.

Thayir Saadham and Mixture

Have you tried this. If not this is a must-not-miss combination. The mixture must not be a 'kaaramaana' mixture. It must also have raisins, nuts and other exotic stuff in it. Going beyond the world of mixture, thayir saadham goes well with ompodi, murukku, vetthal, vadaam, - essentially anything that is 'karakku murakku' goes well with thayirunnjaam.

Thayir Saadham and Mysore Paak

Crazy isn't it? But it does taste very well. In the 'sweet' variety I mentioned that Maanga pacchadi goes well with thayir saadham. And so does coconut burfi. If you want to try something that is really 'out there' try honey and thayir saadham. It will tickle your bones. I have seen people it pineapple, apple, orange, and "suppota" with thayir saadham. And they all vouch that combo to be the best ever.

So there you go ladies and gentlemen. Thayir saadham. You just cannot ignore it. It is the friendliest dish around that will happily buddy up with anything you bring in. It is the middle class marvel. Costs nothing. Satisfying. Puts you to sleep for hours together. What more do you want on a good hot afternoon during summer holidays?


mahesh said...

I have been reading your blog for a few years now and have never posted a comment on it. But this post was simply awesome. An ode to the finest of mankind's creations the humble "curd rice".

Sundar Narayanan said...

you should try thachchimammu with dosai milagai podi (without the oil)

that is my favorite.


Anonymous said...

Thayir sadham with vetthai kozhambu - heaven

Bala said...

Your detailed analysis left my mouth watering.. Thayir sadham and adai is a good combo.. I remember days when all us kids used to sit in front of the TV, watching the nth re run of Maya Baazar in the VCR when 'Paati' comes with a big paathram of thayir sadham, yesterdays vetha kuzhambu and hot onion bakoda.. Paati will put a little bit of thayir sadham and we will have to form a Kuzhi ( hole) in the middle with the thumb. The vetha kuzhambu goes in the middle and a bite of the Bakoda. Those were the days man..

Raj said...

Awesome post dude..

just had my thayir sadham and came back to my seat and read this.. Making me want to eat more .. Aiyoo.. mamoo poche...

My fav is the cut mangai mixed with chilli powder.. Unbeatable...


Anonymous said...

Excepting the Thayir Sadam and Mysore paa(not tasted) .. i love all the others. ah .. relishing .. am going for thayir sadam and cut manga oorugai now :) .. amma lunch kuduthu anupchadu !

Vidya said...

Thayir Saadham + Vetha Kozhambu is the best combination, in my opinion. Though maavadu is very high on the list.

Blogeswari said...

Cornflakes-ellam kuppaila pottuttu let's have thayir saadam for breakfast.. Ahaa!

Thanks for the link, btw!

Dr.Dheep said...

Awesome post. Thayir sadham is supposed to be the friendliest food for the gut. However i myself cannot tolerate the taste, odour or sight of it. there were 10 more guys iv met so far, who share this absolute revulsion for this food. We go so far that the sight of some1 enjoyin the food sends convulsions thru us. If a drop of thayir falls on us, we have to run to wash it off. Have you met any1 else with this kind of shared hate for any particular food? Just wondering... Unfortunately for me, my wife jus lives on it morn, noon and night...p

Esskay said...

Loved all the combos. I want thachimammu now! A couple of more drool worthy mentions:
>> Vethha kozumbhu - Come on yaar, this is the unbeatable ultimate combination. It's like a mini party in your mouth.
>> Rasam - Might be odd, but tastes heavenly
>> Ketchup - This is certainly a different one on the list, but you should try it once atleast. Its tangy and tasty!
>>Mommy's thairchaadam - You may have thair chaadams in different houses and places, but the one that stems from mommyland is priceless. =)

janani said...

Thank you for talking about the thayir sadam with appalam combination! For years I have been teased within my family for liking that combo. Thayir sadam with boondi is also great! My father likes to have thayir sadam with a tumbler of kozhambu by the side. Before each bite, he pours some and slurps it in

Anand said...

dei maapla,

srivaishnava guru paramparaila onakku 'dudhyona jeeyar'-ngara pattam sootti oru neengaadha edatha kudukkaren.

un posta-a padikka padikka devapperumal prasada mandabathula dudhyonam saapadra kann (vaay) koLLA anubhavam nyaabagam vandudhu.

pootu le vandiya - thiruppu le kanjivarathukku....

Vee Cee said...

dei hakki, i like you and i like your posts. even in this post, you were doing just fine.
riiight up to the point where you were foolish enough to compare any aspect of the thayir sadham phenomenon (even if it is just the preparation part) to some other food item (vanilla ice cream, gulab jamun etc.).
at that point you became another one of those.................'Amit'-types (sorry for using such strong language)!

compare it to the setting sun. okay. i can live with that.
a flowing river. fine. no problem. heck, even compare it to a virendar sehwag hoick.
but one should never, ever, ever compare it to any other edible item!!! Ever.

SK said...

Hahaha nice post! Incidentally I was thinking about thayir saadham along the same terms yesterday. Who the hell discovered thayir? How would have thought of putting yeast in milk?
I think the way it was discovered was when someone accidentally left the milk be for a long time and yeast accidentally was let into the milk to make up the delicious thayir. Yes, definitely an accident. :--)

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. My paati makes a molaga thokku, which goes best with thair sadam and a crunchy mixture type material.

But mysore pak seriously?? :)

Maddy said...

TS + anything sweet - NO
TS + Kaara Bhajji (red) or Pakoda or Mixxxer or Paruppu Vadai -- YAAAAY

Anonymous said...

you missed நார்தங்காய்;
how about கொத்தவரங்கா வத்தல்.

There is no limit when it comes to the friends of Thayir Saadham

Deepa said...

I also love it with salted mango ginger and left over onion tomato chutney and coriander thokku and my moms venthiya kuzhambu...when we were kids I used love the sizzling vazhaikai/seppankizhangu roasts on the curd rice..
pulikadha ketti thayir also tastes awesome with kisilikkai/narthangai...
You have made me travel down so much into the memory lane..these days the eating portion and the enthu has gone down:( but my babies r slowly getting used to these combos one at a time :)

MaySan said...

Like all, except Mysore pak. My brother always recommended jam with thayir sadam :(

My favs are all kinds of kuzhambus - sambar, mor kuzhambu, vatha kuzhambu, aviyal, poricha kuzhambu, pitlai, etc etc And podi potta currys :)

Avakkai with chaaru is a dish by itself!

Anonymous said...

some of the other combos

thayir saadam + naarthangai
thayir saadam + parupu thogaiyal
thayir saadam + maavadu

I d say thayir + naarthangai is the best. I never get bored.

Makes life simple for my mom


Anonymous said...

wondraful post ! Hasnt anyone tried Thayir saadam with sugar in it + chips on the side ? - Heavenly !

Anonymous said...

super about thayir saadam and upma, thayir saadam with rasa vandi, vatha kuzhambu, kara kuzhambu....


Gradwolf said...

Manga thokku FTW! Also the home made cut mangas! I am not a big fan of kazhangu with thayir saadham.

I said...

Inga enna thayir saadham maanada?

Thayir sadham was invented when a lazy Maami didn't feel like cooking, and since there was no microwavable food in those days, she fixed a meal for maama with whatever was readily available.

Pettai Maami said...

aah..this post was just yummm... u missed out thayir saadam with aavakaai/ elumichanga.. one of my personal favs is thayir saadam with kutti vengayams... just heavenly..

Jagannath Moorthy said...

Awesome post, leaves me hungry for more

Anonymous said...

i said thayir sadham with vetthai kozhambhu is heavenly because of the 777 vethhai kozhambhu mix.i agree home made is awesome too but 777 combination is just something else.u can make kozhambu in 5 min using that

The Inquisitive Soul said...

TS + Vethakozhambu + keerai
TS + Paruppu Podi
TS + Sambhar + Aloo curry

Epic combinations!

Anonymous said...

thayirsaadham must be of
1.boiled rice (pref.paccharisi) soaked in water overnight (pazhayadhu)
2. thayir out of karandha pasumpaal not the packet paal or erumai/aattu paal.

the side dishes, any of the below - netthu vecha vengaaya vattha kuzhambu vaazhakka or potato curry.
c.thengaa thogayal.
d.verum vengaayam.
e.paruppu podi. (interestingly for paruppu podi saadham, thayir is apt side dish)
f.keerai masiyal. (of sirukeerai)

dhool takkara irukkum.


Anonymous said...

forgot to add for the best side dish of thayir saadham -

1. dosa or adai precoated with eNNai molagapodi. this is a deadly combo.


Anonymous said...

Poda Thiruvaazhathaan.


Kokki Kumarru said...

@Thayir Saadham and Kazhangus
You missed out on the andra mess's special potato curry which is an excellent combination for perug annum(oops tongue slip ayidchi).
@Thayir Saadham and Mango Variants
And there are a variety of pachadis you can include like ginger and kongura.

Sid said...

Wat an awesome, awesome article. I couldn't stop salivating over the description! So much that I just want to go home right now.

One combo that I really love is Tomato Ketchup and Thayir Saadam. It irks a lot of people out of their wits on how I can eat it, but it seriously is amazing. You should try soon :)

Nithya said...

While all the combos mentioned are awesome (I have tried them all yayyy!), you MUST have added vetha kozhambu, keerai-kozhambu (drooooooool!), rasa mandi etc. Lovely reading! :)

Anonymous said...

Sacrilegious as it may sound, TS with chicken curry is simply awesome, as I have discovered.

xy said...

Like anon pointed out, TS with non-veg curry is amazing(fish,chicken, mutton).

Also, try it with Sambal (it's a kind of chili paste commonly used in Sri Lanka,Msia,Spore).

Babs said...

@Dr.Dheep, I myself dont enjoy TS as much as sambar + potato poriyal + thayir ingee pachidi + appalam or puzhlikolambu + keerai kootu or other south indian meals....but do know few ppl here who dont eat TS infact one is tambram but never ever heard of any1 who hate it.....

I personally cant stand finicky eaters, damnit we r vegetarians and cant handle some vegies or veg food.....and on top of it some only eat Indian food.....:-)

@Hawkie, have u tried TS with Kadamba Thokku (Grand Sweets)....almost as good as mangai thokku (my all time fav along with TS + vathakuzhmbu)

Anonymous said...

Am a tambram (fraud) and cant stand thayir sadam - even the very sight of it use to make me want to throw up. But i havent come across any one else (Tam or otherwise) who does not like thayir saadam.

Dr.Dheep said...

@anon above : was theorising that maybe curd could be allergic to certain ppl and so they tend to avoid it instinctively. seems i used to spit milk which was few hrs old even in my infancy. Cant stand curd in any of its variations, be it lassi, yougurt, mor kohambu and pachadi. Glad to know im not alone with this :)

Anonymouse said...

I personally can't stand TS either. It's just the combination of curd with rice - I don't mind sweetened curd/yoghurt/lassi. It's just the sour, 'pulicha' taste of curd rice. Even the smell is weird.

Aficionados would probably want to add Mahalikizhangu to the list of friends. People who like it swear by it.

I said...

Anon: I also the same.; can't stand more/thayir sadham. May be because of the forced overdose back in the day.

Mutalukku more saadham nu arikkai vida vendiadhan.

Maddy said...

How did i forgot..TS + Chicken Curry = Ultimate

Anonymous said...

TE Srinivasan passed away.


Archana said...

Thayir Sadham not goes well with Veg items but also with Non-Veg items like Chicken pepper fry and Fish kozhambu...

Anonymous said...

TS + MagaliKizhangu -- awesome combo!

Krithika said...

Thalaivaaaaaa! Came across this blogpost on Twitter and woah...! Thayir Saadam has never before received a fitting tribute like this!

Anonymous said...

dhodyojanam with puliyodarai is awesome combo! Try and will love it!

Alan Smithee said...

Daddykku thayir saadham na romba ishtam..

Victor Guerra said...

Wonderful write up! Your post has so many comments, that I couldn't doublecheck if someone had mentioned this combination of thayirsaadam with sambaar - yet another unsong heroic friend of thayirsaadam, if you agree.

IdeaSmith said...

Dropped into this blog following an old, old link from one of my posts (the SATC movie..the first one that is). Clicked through to homepage to see what you'd been upto recently and found you waxing eloquent about what I had for dinner tonight. Yum yum yum! Damn, I'm hungry again now.

Hawkeye said...


thanks :-)


i'll try that. although i love it with paruppu podi.

still jealous btw :-)




thanks :-) the kadalai paruppu in adai somehow puts me off.

but seriously - you reminded me of the 'kuzhi' concept. it almost was a daily routine then.


cut mango rocks.


enna mango oorga adhu?


agree but as someone said vettha kuzhambu must be concentrated MTR vettha kuzhambu type thottukka.


in M.S days i used to have class at 8AM. my roommates used to get shocked to see me sotthu amukkifying at 6:30 AM. i was eating thayir saadham. didnt have to waste money on subway gubway rest of the day.


oone of my roommates was lactose intolerant or something like that. once he broke a curd can in kroger and i hd to wipe the floor because he coulnt bring himself to touch it.

outside of medical reasons i cant believe someone would not like thayir saadham. it worse than not liking banana.


seems like vettha kuzhambu is a major miss for this post

i like rasam + thayir sadham

katchup konjam radical dhaan.


thayri saadam appalam is the starting stage before one gets to TS + boondhi. TS + mixtue is a better version of boondhi because mixture is boondhi plus more items


appo enna paaka varava ellam dhanda samarpikkarthukku bathila dhadhyonyam samarpikara madhiri vechukalam.

vee cee,

i yam so saari. it somehow came to mind mind because i love gulab jamun + ice cream as well. i realize now that i am at fault


that theory sound good to me


molagai thokku - recipe please. mysore pak works somehow :-)


naarthanga sweeta kaarama?


i agree that was a big omission. but i didnt know how to categorize it. kotthavaranga vatthal kelvi pattadhe illai.


pulikaadha getti thayir stand-alone is so awesome. enna invention. our ancestors were great in that aspect.

Hawkeye said...


jam with thayir saadham - wow. have you tried beetroot with TS. my brother walks away when i eat that combo. he cant stand TS being sullied iwth beet color.


paruppu thogaiyall ngabaga paduthineere.. seriously superior.


i have heard that TS + sugar used to be aristocratic food in the 60s and 70s.


rasa vandi?


you should proably try variants of kazhangu..home made cut maangas + kozhumbu podi.. attagasam


see as i told you - it was an accidental discovery to solve some other purpose.

pettai mami,

first time i am hearing thayir saadham with kutti vengayams. although in some restaurants in n.india they came and kept kutti vengayam like it was some masala pappad or some such appetizer.




i agree 777 type mix rocks

inquisitive soul,

TS + vettha kuzhambu + keerai - wow havent tried that


aha manal kayaru type conditions plus awesome combo

prabhu - nayee


i have never heard of gongura pacchadi. andhra spl mess solracheve spice elevel 7 madhiri irukku,


your are the second commentor to mention. maybe i shld try

Hawkeye said...


again second commentor to mention rasa vandi - is hould try that.


ive always though TS + fish was the most popular - based on lunch time sampling


sambal seems to be gopal palpodi level geo spread minus india. recipe please.


i should try kadamba thokku next time.

i agree rare to see anyone who hates TS. i was off TS for about 5 - 7 years (during most of my BE days) but never hated it even then.




mahalikazhangu - i am sriously learning new terms here. any way this is available in amrikka


my grandma prevented us from eating thayir in the night saying 'moolai mandhama poidum'. so arikkai is not far fetched


read that. thats sad news.


based on movie dialogs and lunch-time sampling fish seems more popular.


second commentor to mention mag alikazhangu i should try this

Hawkeye said...




anybody who has eaten perumal kovil prasadham would have invariably tried the combo as they put both on the same thaiyyal elai and give to you.

i agree its awesome




agree TS + sambar is awesome. provided its onion sambar and even better if its onion vettha kuzhambu


i remember your SATC link :-) i didnt see the SATC II. long time no see. hope you are doing good.

Devi Balaji said...

superb post....also include thayir sadam with vantha kuzhambu r puli inji r arachu-vita sambar...also the one served in triupathi temple (yummy..doesnt need a side dish)..

Anonymous said...

Just back from Palakkad. Had opportunity to revisit TS + puli inji + veppalakatti. Aaaaaaaaaha! Divyam!

nivi said...

I agree with a previous comment, Thayir sadam and vetha kozhambu is super! Btw totally concur on the thayir sadam and mixture.

Awesome post!

Anonymous said...

Thayir sadam is the best when it is pazhayadhu, with some paruppu podi. The moisture in thayir sadam should make the paruppu podi make an entry into the nose, sneeze for sometime and continue..

IdeaSmith said...

I've Ideamarked this post!

prabha narayan said...

Hi There, All my 'madrassi' brethren....thayir saadam is 'amritam' for us esp tambrahms and idea about others.....Did no one think of freshly made 'manga curry' [fresh cut green mango with chilli powder, salt, hing, til oil with roasted kadugu and menthiyam? My mom would make it and I would reach for the thayir saadam anytime of the day [or night]-like they say in mouth waters so much that a boat can swim in it!!

Vidhya said...

i eat thachi mammu with ripe banana... :P

vyshnavi said...

thayir sadam n murungakai sambar
thayir sadam n rasam
thayir sadam n narthangai
thayir sadam n paavakai
thayir sadam n veppela katti

winning combos et all!!

Anonymous said...

A postmortem of 'thayir sadam'. Tastier than thayir saadam. Sirichi sirichi vayiru kizhinji pochu. Thayir sadam kaila, oru kuzhi nadula, adula vetha kuzhambhu.....Oho!!