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Sri Lankan Yellow Rice


Rice, We can’t do without it, can we ? 

I mean what is lunch without a plate of rice.

Not so long ago, when the kids came home after school, they would ask me, what’s for lunch and when I mention rice, they’d ask, “But why do we have to eat rice every day? “, fair enough, point taken, I decided to give them a choice of sandwiches and pastas, after a few days (less than a week, mind you), They realized one thing, that nothing fills you up and keeps you away from extra junk food like rice. 

So rice it is for lunch and no more long faces when it’s mentioned. Instead, I make variations of it and one of it is the Sri Lankan Yellow rice or (Kaha Bath).

A warning in advance, kids are not fans of biting into cloves, cinnamon and cardamom, try to remove them as you serve the rice, avoiding drama at lunchtime.

Apart from that one complaint,

You’ll love the fragrance that takes over the house as you fry the spices.
It should take you back to your mom’s kitchen reminding you of forgotten festivities.
Once you make the following recipe, you’ll experience how a plain bowl of rice changes into a dish worthy of any occasion.
Before we get started, You need to know the basics of rice.

what type of rice to choose?
If this is your first time cooking rice, choose rice that you are familiar with, that is Basmati unless you prefer small grains. How much rice do you measure per person?
The measurement depends on the individual you are going to feed, usually, for male and heavy eaters, you measure one cup and half a cup for the ladies unless you are feeding us, Sri Lankans. How much water or liquid should I add ?
Add two cups of water per cup of rice. The ratio being 2:1, water: rice.

So let’s begin..


Basmati Rice 2 cups (Preferable as it doesn’t turn sticky if overcooked)

2 Pandan Leaf (Rampe)

1 Four large onions sliced thin (this includes for the garnish as well )

6 Garlic  pods cleaned

5 Cardamom pods

1 Teaspoon Turmeric powder

4 Cloves 

1 Cinnamon stick

4 tablespoon oil 

2 tablespoon Ghee

3 1/2 cups of water or Chicken broth (Basmati cooks fast )

Salt 1 1/2 teaspoon


-Wash the rice thoroughly and set it aside, chop four onions and separate for cooking and garnishing.

-Set the pan on slow fire, add the ghee followed by the oil.

-Once the oil heats, add in the whole cloves, Pandan leaves, cinnamon sticks and onions.

-Let it cook for a while and put in the cardamom pods and cloves.

-Once you see the onions turning golden in colour, add the curry leaves, turmeric powder and salt.(The fragrance should hit you by now)

-Gradually add the rice, stir to mix in all the ingredients and fry the rice, once this is done add the water.

If you are substituting water with chicken stock, you should reduce the amount of salt as the broth already includes a certain amount of it. As for me I usually prefer to cook in chicken stock.

-Once the water starts boiling, bring down the fire and cook the rice while its covered, this should take a bout 15 minutes.  -Garnish with a mix of fried onions and curry leaves. 






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