Dahi Pakhala | Water Rice with Yogurt or Curd

Odisha, the land of Lord Jagannath is one of the eastern state of Indian subcontinent. As compared to other regional Indian cuisines, less oily and less spicy is the Odia cuisine. Rice, both sun dried as well as par-boiled is the staple food of the people of Odisha. Only par-boiled rice is used regularly where as sun dried ones are stored for only to be used during festivals. Among all the rice based Odia dishes, Pakhala is the most traditionally favorite dish of each odia. Pakhaḷa is an Odia term which is basically some cooked rice loaded with water that may be served fresh or after being slightly fermented. The watery part the dish is known as toraṇi.   

Well today, 20th March is declared as ‘Pakhala Dibasa‘ or ‘Universal Pakhala Day‘ by Odias worldwide. So here I am come up with a version of pakhala named asDahi Pakhalaon this day. There are some other varieties of pakhala also preferred to have as basi pakhala, saja pakhala, jeera pakhala etc. Since summer is approaching so fast, so in every odia households pakhala is a must prepared dish during these days. Having this dish brings some relief from the hot climate. So pakhal has been recommended to prevent heat stroke in summer. Mainly the par-boiled rice is cooked slightly more soft than the normal cooked rice. Then normal water is added to the cooked warm rice and kept overnight to ferment. And in the morning of next day, the smell of pakhala !!!! ahhaaa, such a pure bliss for me 😉. This type of pakhala is called as ‘basi pakhala’. 

Dahi or curd can be added to this basi pakhala. But I don’t prefer to add curd to the basi pakhala. Instead I always prepare the rice, allow to cool a bit. Then I add water and keep aside for 1 hour. After 1 hour, just make a tempering of mustard seed, red chili, curry leaves and add this tempering along with slightly sour curd or dahi to the water rice. After mixing everything, Voila !!! dahi pakhala will be now ready. This dahi pakhala can be eaten along with some veg accompaniments like aloo chakta (smashed boiled potato with little mustard oil, chopped onion, chopped green chili and salt), badi chura, fried vegetables, baingan bharta (mixture of roasted eggplant with some spices) or non-veg accompaniments like dried fish (sukhua), fried fish (fried slices of fish coated with turmeric and salt) etc. So do try this Odisha special Dahi Pakhala and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details method of preparation of this dahi pakhala to enjoy during the coming hot summer days.

Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 30 mins

Ingredients :        



Par-boiled rice

2 cup

Curd / dahi (slightly sour)

2/3 cup

Red chili

2 no

Mustard seed

2 tsp

Curry leaf

1 sprig

Mustard oil

1 tsp


As needed


As needed

Method :

  1. In a bowl, take rice and wash properly using normal water.
  2. Take sufficient water in a deep bottomed pan and start boiling.
  3. Then add washed and clean rice to the boiling water.
  4. Give a nice stir and allow to cook. Remember to cook this rice slightly more soft than the normal cooked rice.
  5. When it is cooked perfectly, turn off heat.
  6. Drain off extra water from the pan. Keep aside to cool a bit.
  7. Now add normal water to the warm rice till 1-2 inch above the level of rice in the pan.
  8. Keep aside for at least 1 hours.
  9. Now heat oil in a tadka pan.
  10. Add in red chilies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow to splutter well.
  11. Pour this tempering to the cooled water rice along with slightly sour curd and salt.
  12. Mix everything well.
  13. Serve along with some accompaniments like aloo chakta, baingan bhaja, saga bhaja, badi chura, bhendi bhaja etc or some non-veg like fried fish, dried fish as well !

Notes :

  • Fresh curd (dahi) can be used if the cooked rice is kept aside for more than 2-3 hours after adding normal water. Since I have kept the rice for 1 hour in water, so prefer to add slightly sour curd.
  • Tempering part is optional, but adds a nice flavor to the dahi pakhala.

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Myself Sasmita, a techie turns to a food blogger which is reflected in this space.

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  1. Priya Satheesh

    What a tempting platter. We also prepare something similar to this but used to rest the rice overnight after adding cold water… Excellent meal for summer !

  2. Aruna

    This is popular even in Andhra and is one of my Dad's favourites.

  3. JollyHomemadeRecipes

    it’s quite similar to curd rice but method of making is different..good to know about Odia cuisine, I love authentic dishes and it looks so good !!

  4. Priya Suresh

    Such a healthy dish, we south Indians makes this rice often at home. And we have this rice for our breakfast, love this dish to the core.

    1. Sasmita

      Odias also prefer to have this as breakfast. But for me, there is no specific time to have this dish, anytime I can grab 😉

  5. Sujata Roy

    So informative write up. Dahi pakhala looks so tempting. In Bihar they add sattu in basi pakhala. Yours sounds so inviting.

  6. Maria Nasir

    Looks great! Must be very light to digest and flavourful. Perfect for summer side dish.

  7. Unknown

    What a fabulous platter! Looks so inviting and i learned about these regional dishes.

  8. Shobha

    I have heard so much about this recipe but never tasted it. Looks healthy and cool.

  9. Pavani

    This is such an authentic and traditional dish. Thank you for sharing this with us. The whole set up looks hearty and comforting.

  10. Meera Girdhar

    Looks gr8 .. perfect for summers as it is easy to digest and yummy too

  11. Unknown

    Love the write-up. The whole plate looks absolutely tempting 🙂

  12. Archana

    Wow, Your write up is amazing. Reminded me of the holidays I spent in Orissa with my mama. As for the platter its delicious again you brought memories of Mama. 😀

  13. Jyoti Babel

    Such a cooling dish. Our regional cuisine comprises of the dishes according to the local climate and available ingredients. Perfect for summer

  14. Freda

    I have absolutely zero knowledge about Odia cuisine, was nice to read something about it. This is such a lovely platter, everything looks great 🙂

  15. Sharmila kingsly

    Beautiful pics.. Looks so divine.. This is so new to me..

  16. Simplyfood

    I have never heard of this typeof rice and its so lovely to learn new dishes of different regions of India. Lovely recipe that is beautifully prepared.

  17. Vanitha

    So simple yet so delicious, like curd rice from the south! Nice to know more about Orissa cuisine!

  18. Vidya Narayan

    Fabulous images Sasmita! Every region has its own way of dealing with seasonal changes, via food. We south indians have neer mor or curd rice to our rescue and Odissa has this bhaat. Absolutely delicious, traditional recipes and they are such a treasure.

  19. sujitha

    Tempting bowl of curd rice.. Loved your pictures and complete platter..

  20. Padma

    Great to know about cuisines from different states of India….especially Odia cuisine is quite new to me…Nice write up!!…We too have a similar kind of dish in South India prepared with leftover rice….Healthy share!!

  21. Ruchi's Veg Kitchen
    Ruchi's Veg Kitchen

    Very informative post dear . Dahi Pakhala looks so yummy.. Thanks for sharing such regional dishes

  22. jayashree

    This is a good meal for summer. Though it is new to me, it looks tasty. Have been reading lately about it.

  23. Lathiya

    Awesome flavored dish… Never tried any odisha dish and loved to learn about it

  24. Hayley

    Great to know about different regions customs and dishes. Dahi Pakhala sounds so easy and healthy recipe.

  25. cookingwithsapana

    I won't mind eating this rice based dish anytime as rice and curd both are my favorite. It sounds more or less like south indian curd rice.

    1. Sasmita

      Same here sapna, even I can have without curd 🙂

  26. Ritu Tangri

    This is something new to me, but I'm loving it for its simplicity and I'm sure it must be very light and easily digestible.

  27. mildly indian

    My mom has something similar everyday of summer. She just adores it. Your pics look so beautiful

  28. code2cook

    looks a great recipe. I had rice water we call is as maad, adding curd is something new.

  29. Avin

    Beautiful pics, looks delicious. Something new to lean everyday😊

  30. Mayuri Patel

    Such an interesting preparation Sasmita. Every state of India as some famous recipe that is prepared during the summer season. Simple and so flavorful with the added tempering and sour curd.

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