Sri Lankan Dhal Curry


  • Red lentils, 1 cup
  • Sri Lankan curry powder, 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder, 0.5 tsp
  • Cumin, 1tsp

  • Chili powder, 0.5 tsp
  • Tomato, 1 cup, chopped
  • Ginger paste, 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coconut milk, 2-3 tbsp
  • Water, 2 cups

For tempering:

  • Mustard seeds, 0.5 tsp
  • Cumin seeds, 0.5 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds, 0.5 tsp
  • Curry leaves, 1-2 sprigs
  • Onions, 0.5 cup, chopped
  • Vegetable or coconut oil, 2 tbsp


  1. Wash the and clean lentils and add them to a pot with water, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and all the powdered spices.
  2. Bring to a boil and add in coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasoning at this point and cook lentils further to a consistency you like (Sri Lankan lentil curry is typically cooked to a point where the lentils still retain their shape).
  3. In a separate pan, add oil and heat for a couple of mins.
  4. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and curry leaves to the pan when the oil is hot (should splutter when the seeds are added).
  5. Add onions to the pan and sauté for a few minutes or until onions are tender and translucent. (If you want your lentils to be spicy you could add in a chopped green chili or two at this point if you’d like.)
  6. Transfer tempered spices and onions from the pan into the pot of lentils. Check salt and spice levels and adjust as needed.
  7. Serve hot with rice.



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