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Cook With Us: Sri Lankan Dhal Recipe

Jul 24, 2020 | Food & Drinks, Sri Lanka

Dhal curry is an absolute staple in Sri Lanka & is outrageously delicious, we have to apologise in advance for the cravings you’ll be getting after you’ve eaten this dish!

Eat it like a local and scoop up the dhal with a roti (or naan bread), or you can eat it with rice. Sri Lankan dhal is similar to Indian dhal but uses curry leaves & coconut milk, giving it a creamier and softer texture. This is hands down one of our favourite meals & bonus – it’s vegetarian & vegan! 



  • 150g lentils (soaked or boiled prior to cooking)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Dry chilli pod
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • Half a large onion
  • ½ inch ginger root
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Coriander (to garnish)



  1. We recommend soaking your lentils for a few hours, or boiling with some salt prior to cooking to make sure they become soft without overcooking the curry.
  2. Chop/grind the following ingredients: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, garlic and ginger (you can use a mortar and pestle)
  3. Chop the onion into thin slices. In a hot pan, fry the curry leaves in hot oil before adding the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and onion
  4. Once the onions are golden brown, add the chopped paste from step 1 and saute with the dried chilli
  5. Add the lentils, coconut milk, chilli powder, turmeric powder & curry powder
  6. Allow the curry to boil and simmer until lentils are soft (add water if necessary)
  7. Add salt to taste, garnish with coriander & enjoy! We’ll see you in Sri Lanka when the borders re-open 😉