Kiribath is a traditional rice cake that hails from Sri Lanka which is prepared mainly by cooking rice with fresh and creamy coconut. Kiribath is one of the renowned dishes from Sri Lanka cuisine, generally served during breakfast on the first day of each month as a part of their tradition and an ancient ritual or practice. It is also relished in many parts of India, mainly in the South, sometimes by making it with unique variations. As we know, India helped shape a significant part of Sri Lanka cuisine which is why Sri Lankan food is considered to be reminiscent of South Indian dishes from India and hence a lot of their traditional dishes are pretty popularly prepared and enjoyed in India.  

A brief history and cultural significance of kiribath:

Kiribath, a staple dish of Sri Lankan people, comes with quite a rich history. The origins of this dish remain to be unclear till today, although the dish could have originated from either India or Sri Lanka. However, this dish seems to be unique to Sri Lanka. What’s interesting to know is that this dish is said to be associated with ancient times. A story tells that Guatham Buddha was offered a bowl of this rice pudding whilst he was meditating under the bodhi tree, thus breaking his seven-year-long fast and further opening a way to his enlightenment. In the present age, kiribath is served on auspicious days such as festivals and occasions as it is symbolic of good and the beginning of new pursuits or transitions in life. As kiribath symbolises life, it is also the first food served on the Sinhalese new year, which is also consumed as the first meal of the year. Besides holding such high regard, it is also the first solid food customarily fed to infants. The most pleasing way it’s eaten is by pairing it with lunu miris or any sauce/ dip.

If you wish to make it at home, here’s the recipe for kiribath.