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KALIYA BIRINJI ( Traditional Maldivian Rice)

July 22, 2013



1 kg Basmati rice

3 cups water

2 cups thick coconut milk

6 cloves

6 cardamoms

2 pieces of 3 inch cinnamon sticks

½ tsp cinnamon cardamom powder

3 large onions (thinly sliced)

1 inch ginger (crushed)

½ tsp cumin seed

120 grams ghee/margarine

2 tablespoon cooking oil

2 ½ tsp salt or according to taste


  1. Wash and drain the rice.
  2. Mix the cumin seeds with the rice.
  3. Mix ginger and onion in ½ cup lukewarm water and squeeze the onions. Cover and leave aside. After an hour, squeeze out the water, and keep the onion and onion water in two separate bowls.
  4. Soak the cloves, cinnamon and cardamoms in half cup water separately.Cover and leave aside. After an hour, separate the water and the other ingredients. Keep aside both water and the cinnamom mixture.
  5. Heat ghee/margarine and oil in a pot. Add the onion, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.Fry until lightly golden brown.
  6. Add the rice and fry the rice, stirring continuously. Next, add the onion water and the cinnamon water to this. Cook gently stirring until all the water evaporates and the rice appears slightly roasted.


      7. Pour in the coconut  milk, remaining water, cinnamon cardamom powder and salt to taste.

      8. Cover and cook the rice on low flame until the rice is well boiled.

      9. Stir gently with a spatula and separate the grains

      10. Serve hot.      

 Note: This traditional rice dish has adorned the dining table of kings and queens in the Maldives. It is a lovely dish which goes well with, kandukukulhu, musamma, miruhulee kukulhu…etc… 

Enjoy this very shaahi rice! 



3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nizna permalink
    August 8, 2013 8:09 am

    Made this today, for Eid lunch.came out very delicious.thank you for sharing the recipe.i didnt hav much time so didnt soak the onion n stuff that long.maybe next time 😀

  2. August 15, 2013 9:09 pm

    Reblogged this on j3llyfiish.

  3. aquaine permalink
    September 15, 2013 12:22 pm

    Can u upload the recipe of ….the sweet… kaamaranga

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