Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sri Lankan Kiri Bath (Coconut Milk Rice)

Yum
Sri Lankan Kiri Bath (pronounced "kiree-buth", translates in English literally as "milk rice") is a traditional dish that is served and eaten during celebrations and auspicious occasions to mark and symbolize luck and happiness.  Most Sri Lankans start the first of every month (especially January 1st) with kiri bath for breakfast in hopes of starting the month and year off with good luck.  This beautiful rice dish is very simple and consists of four ingredients:  rice, water, coconut milk and salt. Although these ingredients are basic, it is truly a delicious, creamy, savory rice dish that can be eaten plain, with spicy dishes or sweet jaggery.   I was fortunate enough to receive a sample of traditional Heirloom Ceylon Red Rice from Rural Returns by Essential Living Foods.  This beautiful, highly nutritious red rice is produced by rural communities in Sri Lanka (formally known as Ceylon) through sustainable farming.


Ingredients:
2 cups rice (see note)
4-5 cups of water
2 cups of coconut milk (fresh, can)
salt to taste

Note: you can use any long grain white, brown or red rice for this dish.  If you use a firmer grain rice like brown or red rice I suggest you wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes to help the cooking process.

Directions:
Step 1: Wash the rice several times with water until the water runs clear from the rice. Soak rice if you desire to help your cooking time.
Step 2:  In a large pot on high heat add rice and 4-5 cups of water. Bring rice to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer (medium-low heat) and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes until almost all the water is absorbed. Next add the coconut milk and the salt to taste. Mix all ingredients well and cook in at a low heat until the coconut milk is fully absorbed. The rice should be very tender and the consistency of the rice should be creamy (kind of like a firm rice pudding).

The rice is traditionally served on a platter and formed into a thick cake and cut into diamonds (see first picture for example). The rice will be firm enough to stick together and the pieces should be able to be served individually.  Although this rice is completely delicious on its own, it is traditionally served with chili/onion sambal called lunu miris pictured below or any of the dishes listed below.







 







 Disclosure: I received the Heirloom Ceylon Red Rice courtesy of Rural Returns.     I was not compensated in any way for writing this post.  The opinions stated in this post are my own. Thank you. 

 
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18 comments:

  1. Even though I know the taste is different, in my head I want to say this looks the ULTIMATE rice krispie treat. I am going to try this. This would truly be clean rice krispie treats!
    Oh gosh, I hope I am not being offensive because I am sure this is so much better. Great recipe. :)

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  2. Ooooooh, you know I am a helpless worshiper at the altar of coconut :) This looks to DIE for! Mmmmmm.

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  3. I love red rice, and what a great use for it. This is definitely a different sort of treat from what I usually eat, and I think I'd love it!

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  4. I recently tried the red rice- a little different consistency and taste but good. I am glad to see some ideas on how to use it and look forward to trying these.

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  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut rice. I've never seen it presented like this though. COOL!

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  6. Mmm, I love rice cooked in coconut milk. YUM! It looks like a delicious treat, Ramona!

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  7. This is a new dish to me...but I love all the components, and I bet it's marvelous!!!

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  8. I never had a red rice,but anything with Rice and coconut milk,I'm a big fan,sound tasty Rice dish !!
    Ridwan

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  9. Red rice - awesome! Love the curries - you ought to write a cookbook!

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  10. Red rice? I'm going to have to look for this as the co-op. I love rice of any kind and I'm always looking for more ideas for this wonderful grain! Love the idea of serving this coconut rice as cakes. I bet it's absolutely delicious with the Deviled Onion Sambal!!!!

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    Replies
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxg2Y2qi7Hs (for a spicy side dish)

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  11. That sounds wonderful! You know I love any and all rice. It almost looks like a savory rice crispy treat. Hope you have a nice weekend!

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  12. This is almost like a dessert and I will be on the lookout for the red rice. Wishing you a fun and peaceful holiday weekend.

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    Replies
    1. This dish (Milk rice) is marvelous with spicy/savory as well as sweet side dishes. During the April New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka, milk rice is served with deviled onion sambal, spicy sugar sambal (seeni sambal) or fish curry for salty/savory lovers. And for those with a sweet tooth, it is served with jaggery and pol pani (dish prepared with caramelized sugar, treacle and scraped coconut).. since you like the idea of it as dessert, you can sandwich pol pani in between two milk rice pieces, its called "Imbul kiribath" & is absolutely YUM!

      Imbul kiribath -
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfatY306ZdI

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  13. That looks really unusual. I will really have to try making it.

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  14. This is so interesting. It sounds delicious. I always enjoy hearing about all of your unique dishes.

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  15. in sri lanka was specific rice variety did you eat as your daily meal rice?

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