Sri Lankan coconut milk rice go hand in hand with all the festivities. It is a celebratory meal.
First day of the year, Sri Lankan agrarian new year in April, sometimes at the beginning of every month Sri Lankans celebrate with coconut milk rice and sour fish curry / Ambul thiyal with sweets. It’s bound to the culture.
Traditional term for coconut milk rice is kiribath.
Coming from a rice-based agrarian culture, rice holds a special place in auspicious occasions and festivities in Sri Lanka. Breakfast made from creamy thick coconut milk, newly harvested white raw rice and salt signifies new beginnings, freshness, and purity. All the concepts that kribath represents.
The dish is simple, velvety smooth, creamy, and delicious. Unlike other rice puddings around the world, milk rice isn’t made to be sweet. Rice is cooked twice, first with water then with creamy coconut milk, to have tad bit overcooked grains. At doneness, rice is incredibly soft steaming Spoonfuls of oozing with coconut creamy goodness, that still holds its shape. Along with matching sides flavor delivers warm comforting satisfaction that only Sri Lankan coconut milk rice can give. It is famous for its uniqueness around the world.
Breakfast table with coconut milk rice
What are the best pairing curries and sides to serve with milk rice? My pick would be very spicy onion relish or tempered dried fish. Oh, so delicious, my mouth waters just at the thought of that.
Other savory curries and dishes that pair beautifully with milk rice are tuna ambul thiyal, spicy chicken curry, spicy mackerel curry, onion tinned fish Sambol. That is just my personal preference. Milk rice can be paired with any number of savory, spicy or sweet sides because it carries any dish to the next level with its milder taste.
Coconut milk rice can be made into sweet sandwiches or flavor infused versions of your choice. Kiribath sandwich (aka imbul kiribath) made with sweet coconut filling is popular among Sri Lankan Sinhalese. Pongal rice is another variation of sweet rice pudding made by Sri Lankan Jaffna Tamil people, during the Thai Pongal festivities. Whatever the way you make it, this dish is truly a wonderful and comforting treat if you choose to make it.
Coconut Milk Rice
- 4 cups raw white rice or basmati rice
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cups of thick coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- Rinse the rice with water three times. Measure up six cups of water to cook the rice. Add two teaspoons of salt while cooking.
- When the rice is almost cooked, add another two cups of coconut milk mixed with half a teaspoon of salt. Mix well with the rice.
- Turn the heat to the lowest setting. Let the rice sit for an additional 10 or 15 minutes. Keep the pot covered. Occasional scraping the bottom will prevent the rice from burning too much.
- After 10 minutes, pour the rice in to the serving platter while hot. Run a flat spoon dipped in coconut milk to flatten the rice then cut. enjoy with the relishes and sweets.