Sri Lankan Red Lentil / Dhal Curry Recipe

(Total Approx. time: 45 minutes)

INGREDIENTS (Makes 2-3 servings)

  • 1 cup red lentils / dhal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 dessertspoon oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4-6 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 green or red chilies
  • 1/2 pandan leaf (rampe)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 cups coconut milk



* Cut onions, garlic, green/red chillies, curry leaves and pandan leaf (rampe)

* Wash the red lentils / dhal very well, remove the white stuff



  1. Put red lentils / dhal in pot with water and cook until water starts to boil. Remove froth as it starts to form, cook for about 10 minutes on high heat, stir occasionally.
  2. In a pan, heat oil on high, add onion, garlic, curry leaves and mustard seeds. Keep stirring until onions are golden and mustard seeds start to crackle
  3. Add this mixture, along with cut green/red chillies, pandan leaf (rampe), turmeric powder and salt to the dhal and stir well.
  4. Add coconut milk, stir well and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes (for a thicker consistency, cook longer than this)
  5. Garnish with fried whole curry leaves, crushed chilli or spinach