Happy New Year to all of you! I wish you a happy 2012 filled with lots of love,joy and laughter.
Here's to new beginnings with a traditional Coconut Milk Rice or Kiribath,the way we Srilankans celebrate new year, be it Roman or the traditional Sinhalese new year.Kiribath makes it's way into every important event or auspicious moment in a Lankan's life.
Be it a wedding,a graduation,a new addition to the family,these white diamonds are an unmistakable sight to adorn the tables.It's made with new rice in a new clay pot to symbolize new beginnings and prosperity.
This dish is normally eaten for breakfast with a spicy chilli sambal called Katta Sambal,the reddish blob on the diamond in the photos or the mild version of it with onions and green chillies called Lunu Miris.
I've seen a similar dish in Malaysian cuisine called Nasi Lemak also eaten with some form of sambal.The origins of this dish can be traced to the early Malay workers who migrated into the country,as with many of our local dishes.The addition of Pandan/Screwpine leaf locally called as Rampe is what makes this dish stand out with it's unique flowery aroma and flavor.
I sneak this recipe into my weekend breakfasts once or twice a month,for the ease of cooking it.And since the family sits together for breakfasts only on weekends,I follow along the path of a traditional one.
Wait...That's not all.I wouldn't be leaving without a sweet note in the beginning of the year.The same milk rice can be eaten with sweet additions too.A sprinkle of crushed jaggery is my favorite.After a while,the jaggery melts and the juices will seep down into the rice.If you don't have jaggery a good amount of brown sugar,white sugar or syrups will do the trick.
Coconut Milk Rice
2 cups of white rice,washed and soaked for 30 minutes
4 1/2 cups of water
Pandan/ScrewPine leaf (optional)
3 cardomom pods/2 cloves/2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup coconut milk
*For the Onion chilli sambal
Handful of shallots,cleaned and sliced
1 green chilli sliced
1 tsp red chilli flakes
juice of half a lime
salt to taste
Place the rice,water,salt and the spices in a pot and cook in medium flame until the rice becomes mushy.Add the coconut milk,give it a stir and adjust the seasonings.Let it simmer until all the liquid has evaporated and the rice becomes a one big mass.Press the cooked rice onto a plate and let it cool.Then slice it into diamonds.
*For the sambal,mix all the ingredients.Add lime juice and salt to your taste.