Kiri Bath – Sri Lankan Milk Rice


In the final part of our New Years Day series, we are taking a trip to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, for a traditional breakfast recipe – Kiri Bath (milk rice). Subah Aluth Awuruddak Wewa!

The Sinhalese culture is an ancient one, enriched by its diverse food. Now, I have a lot of Sri Lankan friends, and I have had the opportunity to sample authentic Sinhalese cuisine through them, their families and while visiting Sri Lanka after graduating from University. The food can often be super hot, but Sri Lankans have some of the most delicious street food and desserts.

A lot of cultures in Asia have rice for breakfast, and Sri Lanka has its own unique breakfast rice dishes. Kiri bath (milk rice) is one of them. Rice thickened in coconut cream, it can be savoury or sweet. Enjoy it with some maldive fish, your favourite curry or with some jaggery! I personally like it with a bit of curry. It might remind you of Thai coconut rice or Chinese congee, perhaps these dishes were derived from each other through past travel interactions, who knows!

I asked my good friend, Divya to make this classic breakfast for me, and she happily obliged. In fact, she even features in the recipe video! So this is her recipe. It is best with long grain rice but you may use any rice you have on hand.

If you ever visit Sri Lanka, try out all that is on offer, and I urge you to try out milk rice for breakfast – it’s quite a memorable experience! Enjoy!

You may also like Labra for another new year’s recipe. Or Ash Reshteh for Nowruz (Persian New Year recipe).

Kiri bath - Sri Lankan Milk Rice
Prep Time
1 hr 5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins

Kiri bath is a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast recipe that is enjoyed with sweet or savoury accompaniments. It is quick to prepare and will remind you of a comforting rice porridge. 

Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Sri
Servings: 3
Author: Tamara at Foodieverse
  • 1 cup rice soaked in water for 1 hour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Soak rice in water for 1 hour and drain.

  2. Heat pot and add rice.

  3. Add water to rice and bring to boil.

  4. Add coconut cream and salt. Cook 10 minutes on high heat.

  5. Simmer another 5 minutes on low heat until soft and resembles porridge.

  6. Serve with jaggery or maldive fish or sambol or your favourite curry. Enjoy!


Watch how to make Kiri Bath

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