A meal wouldn’t be a meal in Sri Lanka without some form of rice. We love it, and we love lots of it! In fact, on average Sri Lankans each eat about 100kg of rice per year and it makes up almost half of our average total daily calorie intake.*
New Year is no exception – it’s what we eat for the first meal, with our traditional New Year’s breakfast of milk rice with ghee and jaggery. And we carry on tucking in over the festive season. The good news for us chefs is that rice is a staple that stores well, is simple to make in large quantities and is the perfect base for countless different dishes.
So why not get creative with rice this New Year. Even classic dishes like kiribath can be given a makeover, with new subtle spices in the mix, and fresh takes on the accompanying lunu miris giving you the edge over your competitors. Don’t go too crazy though – diners like their traditions for a reason!
Sri Lankans have been cultivating rice for over 2,000 years and there used to be more than 2,000 varieties too, although now we’re mainly limited to just a few, such as samba, keeri samba, red samba, red nadu and nadu.
However, the more traditional grains of rice are making a comeback, so you could make a feature of this in your restaurant with a few special dishes highlighting their use.
Look out for heritage grains such as:
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