Oliya | Rajasthani rice and yogurt pudding

oliya| rice and yogurt pudding.

The moment you say Rajasthan, the Thar desert and the intense dry heat is what come to mind. Though it is not entirely true, the climate is certainly on the dry side. With it dropping down significantly at night, the fluctuations in temperature are what the living bodies deal with in this region. Evidently, the cuisine relies on cooling foods rich in probiotics. Thanks to cattle farming milk-based products are common in the meal. Oliya is one such home-based recipe that is welcomed in the summer months.

What is oliya?

Oliya is a creamy mix of rice and yogurt with plenty of dry fruits. This gluten-free preparation is an excellent fasting recipe.  Made at the peak of heat waves or right after Holi for Sheetal Ashtami,  this easy-to-prepare Rajasthani recipe is soothing for the gut and an excellent coolant against the heat of the sun. The recipe is perfect for a beginner as it has just a few ingredients. The recipe is also great if you have leftover rice or have overcooked your rice.

Rajasthani yogurt pudding varieties

The oliya is made in both sweet and savoury versions. It is upon individual taste buds how they like them.
Mitha oliya- is the sweet version of this rice and yogurt pudding. Usually sweetened with sugar and loaded with nuts and dried fruits, the mitha oliya is perhaps the version more favoured. It is perfect to serve mitha oliya as a dessert with the main meal of moong dal khilma and khobba roti.
Namkeen oliya- if you are not a sweet-toothed person, it doesn’t stop you from enjoying oliya. When loaded with crushed nuts, the namkeen oliya is a comforting meal on a hot day. The crunch from the nuts and the soft creamy rice mix it a soothing experience.

Ingredients for making this rice and yogurt pudding

Rice soft cooked basmati rice- is the one that makes this rice and yogurt pudding perfect. The fragrance of the basmati is lovely with the saffron too. Soak the rice for 10 minutes before you cook it this cuts down the cooking time and gives a lovely texture to the rice. Alternatively cooked broken rice grits are lovely in this recipe.
Yogurt– popularly in Indian recipes is the unflavoured natural set yogurt that is used. This has enough whey that further softens and flavours the rice. If using Greek yogurt, add milk to adjust the consistency. You can set some yogurt at home or use store-bought ones.
Nuts- the signature feel of oliya comes from the nuts added to it. Popularly it is crushed or slivered almonds and cashews that are added. For mitha oilya , I love adding some dried fruits like chopped dates or raisins. You also add sunflower seeds, pepitas or crushed walnuts to the mix. I will avoid adding chia seeds as it swells making the yogurt pudding gluggy (if that is a word!!).
Sweet version depending on which version of oliya you are making choose the flavour. If sweet,sugar is the option. Stevia tastes fine in this recipe too. Don’t forget to mix some saffron strands in warm milk and add that too for the fragrance. 
Salty version If choosing namkeen version, simple crushed salt gives the salty flavour. The cumin and the mustard seed powder add another unique flavour to it. With a touch of fresh coriander,  the recipe is perfected.

sweet oilya


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Desserts, Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, One pot, Rajasthan
Servings 2 people


  • mixing bowls and spoons.


for the oliya base

  • 3/4 cup yogurt unflavoured, natural set, not sour.
  • 1/2 cup rice steamed and fluffed
  • 1/4 cup milk

for mitha oliya

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 2-3 strands saffron

for namkeen oliya

  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander leaves chopped

for the crunch

  • 2-3 tbsp almonds crushed or silvered
  • 2-3 tbsp cashew nuts crushed or split.


To make namkeen oliya

  • Into the mixing bowl add the yogurt and whisk till it is smooth.
  • To this add the cooled rice, nuts, salt, mustard seed powder and roasted cumin powder and mix well till it is smooth.
  • Mash the rice gently if you need to get a smooth consistency. Add a little bit of milk as needed.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.

To make mitha oliya

  • To the mixing bowl, add the yogurt and whisk till smooth.
  • Add the saffron strands to lukewarm milk and set aside for 4-5 minutes.
  • Now add the steamed rice, sugar, cardamom powder and saffron infused milk.
  • Mix these well.
  • Now add the nuts and mix again.
  • Mitha oliya is now ready to serve.
    sweet oilya


  1. The rice should be at room temperature so that the yogurt doesn't split. 
Keyword Indian desserts, Indian vegetarian dinner, leftover recipes, summer recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How does this recipe keep?

The fairly simple rice and yogurt pudding are best to make and had in a few hours in the hotter months. However, if you are ever running like I am, don’t hesitate to set up a box that is scoop worthy.
Make ahead- the recipe of rice and yogurt pudding stays well in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days. However, do not add the nuts to the stock. Rather add them to your bowl so the crunch remains intact. The refrigerated pudding thickens a bit. This is easily fixed with a teaspoon or two of milk and a good stir.
Lunchbox- being summer perfect, the rice and yogurt pudding is a filling lunch box idea. Choose a Thermos or insulated box to take the chilled pudding. Before packing the pudding add an extra tablespoon of milk so that the consistency is perfect when you have it at lunch. If possible take the nuts separate.

Some summer-perfect recipes

Summer fruit salad
Kesar elaichi sherbat
Potato and pumpkin leaf raita

Stay connected.

Oliya is one such recipe that pleases across the ages. Though very similar to South Indian Curd rice, the namkeen version is still different. Try both versions and share with us which you loved. Rate the recipe and leave us a comment as you make it. If you love video recipes try our YouTube channel for (not so regular) updates. Over and above, enjoy exploring our blog for more recipes.

mitha oliya
Stay safe and see you in the next post. 

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1 year ago
Rating :

I had only heard of Rajasthani daliya sweet made with broken wheat n jaggery. This OLIYA looks fab esp when one wants a quick dessert with leftover rice !

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
Rating :

Seema Oliya is an interesting recipe. I love the rice yogurt combination. I have some rice leftover and I am going to make a savoury oliya for lunch.

1 year ago
Rating :

Wow! Oliya is new to me and sounds delicious. I think I will make some today. I have all the ingredients needed to make both.

Shobha Keshwani
1 year ago
Rating :

Interesting recipe. I have never tasted this dish. Will try out the savoury version as I am not so fond of sweet dishes.

Mina Joshi
1 year ago

What a lovely way to enjoy Oliya rice – sweet or savoury. Both sound filling and nourishing. I like the idea of preparing it and keeping it in the fridge.

1 year ago
Rating :

wow seema, oliya looks delish! love that it has both sweet and salty version. Such a simple recipe, made rich with addition of nuts ! will definitely give this a try!

Sujata Roy
1 year ago
Rating :

Wonderful recipe Seema. Perfect dish for summer. Easy to make and absolutely delicious. Now its very easy for me to use leftover rice into a tasty and comforting dish. Can’t wait to try.

1 year ago
Rating :

Rajasthani yoghurt pudding looks good and a unique dish. It is something I would like to try. Good to know about it Seema.

Priya Vj
1 year ago
Rating :

Sweet / Mitha Oliya sounds very interesting. It is like having shrikand with rice . The savory oliya makes for a perfect summer dish to beat the heat .

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