Why Sri Lankan red rice is my absolute favourite type of rice


I had never had Sri Lankan red rice before I lived in Sri Lanka and still to this day it is my absolute favourite type of rice. As an 'honored guest' I was often given white basmati rice for first meetings with people but over time my Sri Lankan friends came to realise I was huge fan of this 'local rice and I got to eat it more and more especially as I started to cook it myself.

Sri Lankan Red Rice is known as the healthier counterpart to white rice and is a staple in Sri Lankan cuisine. In Sri Lanka, rice and curry are eaten for every meal in every household and if you have not tasted curry with Sri Lankan Red Rice, I would suggest you give it a try. The flavour is quite subtle with a ‘fluffy’ texture not to be confused with the nutty wild red rice we see in the UK.

Sri Lankan Red Rice is widely cultivated in the tropical wet zone areas of Sri Lanka. It is sometimes known as ‘health rice’ because it is high in fibre and minerals. The high fibrous content mostly comes from the bran which coats the outside of the red rice. It is this red bran coating that carries most of the minerals and dietary fibre of the whole rice grain. Apart from the rich fibre content, red rice also contains Vitamins B1, B2, B6, iron, magnesium, and calcium in higher percentages than white rice. There are so many benefits to eating Sri Lankan red rice – which is why it is loved by health gurus and fitness fanatics.


Most commonly red rice is eaten with curries, but Sri Lankans also use it to make their famous ‘milk rice (Kiri bath) for breakfast or for special occasions.

You can add Pandan (Rampe) leaves when cooking the rice to give it a fragrance - as well as a unique flavour

Once you cook the rice you can temper some mustard seeds, garlic, onions, and some curry leaves and mix them through the rice to add more flavour to it.

*tempering means cooking the spices in hot oil before adding to your curry. It works well at the beginning of cooking to flavour the oil, which then goes on to add flavour  the whole dish. Or, you can add at the end of cooking where it’s amazing for adding texture. I particularly love it in my Delicious Dhal curry recipe kit where the softness of the curried lentils contrast with the crispy caramlised onions and whole spices and leaves.

If you want to try it, you are in luck! You can buy Sri Lankan red rice here.

Thea SamuelEditor