Sri Lankan Dahl

Posted by Romy Lawson on


  • 250g red lentils/ dahl (washed)
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (crushed, peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 5-6 curry leaves (ripped)
  • 3cm of cinnamon (broken into thinner sticks)
  • 1 ½ tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. chilli flakes (optional, double this amount for a Sri Lankan level of spice) 
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek mix
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk (add more to taste if you prefer)
  • big pinch of salt


Mix the lentils and other ingredients into a suitable sized saucepan; reserving the coconut milk and salt. 

Add water to cover the lentils (if one cup isn’t enough add a little more) and place on a high heat to boil. 

Reduce the heat to simmering. If the water is absorbed and the lentils still aren’t cooked, add a little more to ensure they don’t burn.

Cook until the lentils are soft and the water has been absorbed. Add the salt and coconut milk, returning to a higher heat for a further couple of minutes.

Once lentils are soft, take off the heat and allow to rest before serving.

You can be a little bit liberal with the spices, I usually end up adding another 1/2 teaspoon of each 



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