Kiribath (Sri Lankan Milk Rice)
Kiribath Signifies the Beginning of Something New
The name kiribath (කිරි බත්) comes from Sinhalese, with “kiri” (කිරි) meaning milk and “bath” (බත්) meaning rice. Kiribath is probably the most popular breakfast in Sri Lanka. It is essentially a rice pudding, prepared by cooking rice in coconut milk.
It is very simple to prepare and can be eaten with so many side dishes that it suits every taste: Kiribath can be served spicy, with chili paste (lunu miris) or spicy fish (malu mirisata). I myself love to eat milk rice with chicken curry, although I don’t believe that’s a very common combination. It can also be served with jaggery or honey to make for a yummy sweet breakfast for children and adults.
Kiribath is also an integral part of Sri Lankan culture: It marks a new beginning and symbolizes good luck, blessings and thanksgiving. It’s a Sri Lankan tradition to serve and eat kiribath for breakfast on the first of each month, on new year (Avurudu), on birthdays, weddings and many other special occasions.
The recipe itself is very simple and easy to make, I’m sure Sri Lankans will be familiar with it. Kiribath can be served with chili paste, chicken curry, honey or banana slices.
2 lbs of white rice (4 cups)
cream of 1 1/2 coconut or 1 1/2 cans
salt to taste
1. Wash the rice and leave it in the water for 30 minutes.
2. Mix the rice and salt in a big cooking pot and add water until the water is about 1 1/2 inches higher than the surface of the rice.
3. Get to boiling point then cook on low fire until most of the water has evaporated.
4. Add the coconut milk and stir it well.
5. Cook until the coconut milk has completely evaporated and the rice is sticking together.
7. Lay the rice in a tray and let it cool down.
8. Cut the rice to squares of 3 inches.