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Kiribath (Sri Lankan Milk Rice)

Kiribath (Sri Lankan milk rice)
Cooking Method
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 25 min Total Time: 30 mins
Servings 4
  • 2 cups "Kekulu" Rice (Substitute : Basmati, Jasmine)
  • 3 3/4 cups Water
  • 400 milliliters Thick coconut milk ( 400ml = 1 2/3 cups = 1 can)
  • 2 teaspoons Salt

Kiribath aka Sri Lankan milk rice is Sri Lanka's national dish that we make for every celebration in Sri Lanka. And a classic breakfast that everyone loves. Here's my fool-proof easy recipe to make creamy delicious Kiribath/milk rice.

    Making Kiribath
  1. Wash your rice first, then drain water and put it into the rice cooker or instant pot (which is what I use here) or any pot you cook your rice usually. 

  2. Add water and 1 tsp salt (keep rest of the salt for after). Cook your rice using your usual method. If you're using a rice cooker, turn on the cook switch. If you're using an instant pot, press the rice preset. All you do here is cook rice the normal way but with just a little bit of water than you’d normally use.

  3. Get your thick coconut milk (I use one 400ml can for 2 cups of rice) and the rest of the salt to it and dissolve well. Taste it and it should taste a little salty. If you have tasted Kiribath before your coconut milk should have a similar taste to Kiribath now. Adjust salt to your liking. 

  4. Add the coconut milk to the cooked rice as soon as the rice is done cooking. Do NOT wait until the rice cools down.

  5. Mix your rice and coconut milk very well using a spoon until the rice grains breakdown and everything sticks together. You can transfer the rice to a banana leaf or a tray at this point and shape it. But if you still get the raw coconut milk smell, turn on the heat back again and cook for about 2- 3 more minutes on the stove or in the rice cooker. If you’re using an instant pot, press the “Keep warm” option and leave it covered for about 5 - 8 mins

  6. Shaping and cutting Kiribath
  7. Transfer the rice to a cleaned banana leaf. Make sure to do it while Kiribath/milkrice is still hot. It starts to become hardened as it cools down. Which makes it harder to shape and cut into squares.

  8. Shape the Kiribath using another piece of banana leaf/ a baking paper/ spatula into a flat round or a square or to any other shape of your liking. Press the rice firmly so the broken rice sticks to each other.

  9. Get a knife and wrap the knife with a plastic wrap. And apply a little bit of coconut milk/milk or water so the knife doesn’t stick to the rice.

  10. Cut your shaped Kiribath into squares or diamond shapes. Let it cool down a little bit. It’s easier to separate squares when Kiribath has cooled down.

Keywords: Kiribath, Milk rice, Sri Lankan milk rice, Coconut milk rice, Sri Lankan national dish, Rice with coconut milk, Sri Lankan new year food, Kiri bath, Milkrice