Kaha Bath (Sri Lankan Yellow Rice)

Kaha Bath is a simple Sri Lankan rice dish made with turmeric and coconut milk.  The dish isn’t sweet, but savory with flavors of turmeric, cardamom, and cloves.  The coconut milk provides a nice creaminess to the rice and I loved how the turmeric dyed the rice bright yellow.  The great thing about this rice is that the flavors of curry aren’t overpowering and you can serve it alongside another curry dish.  It would also work as the main course if you mixed a protein like egg, chicken or tofu into the rice.

Kaha Bath (Sri Lankan Yellow Rice)
(makes 2 cups)
Printable Version


  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sri lankan curry powder
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash and drain the rice.
  2. Melt the butter in a pot and add the dry spices.
  3. After the spices smell fragrant (about a minute), add the rice and fry for 1 minute adding more butter if necessary.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, tamarind concentrate, and lemongrass paste and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and cover.  Cook for 25-30 minutes without stirring until rice is cooked.
  6. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

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