Sri Lankan Dhal Curry


Meat free? Say no more, this dhal curry has got you covered!

Nowadays more and more people have decided to eat less meat. Friends of mine who are recent converts are desperately trying to find ways of making their mealtimes less daunting and more exciting. And who can blame them, when the only ways people seem to do it is to steam some kale and smash an avocado... yawn!

Sri Lankan food is an amazing cuisine in that we have a multitude of ways of cooking vegetables to perfection, in such an array that you don't even miss having meat on your plate - I being an unashamed carnivore, can personally vouch for this!

Dhal curry is the easiest and tastiest addition to a meal and scrumptious on its own. I probably cook this at least twice a week as its such an easy dinner and an even easier lunch. Left overs can be enjoyed with crusty bread, paratha or as I've recently discovered an absolute delight with noodles too!

Serves: 4

Time: 20-30mins


  • A glug of vegetable or coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 sprig of curry leaves, broken up

  • 1/2 finely chopped onion

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1 cup of red split lentils

  • 2 garlic gloves sliced in half

  • 2-3 split green chillies (optional)

  • 1 kettle of boiling water

  • 1 tablespoon of powdered coconut milk

  • salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan, once hot add the mustard and cumin seeds

  2. When the mustard seeds start popping, add in the onion and curry leaves

  3. Once the onion has softened, turn the heat to medium

  4. Add in the red split lentils and stir around in the pan, so they can soak up the heat and until they have a nice glossy shine to them

  5. Turn the heat to high and add in 2-3 cups of boiling water

  6. Add in the turmeric, salt, garlic and chillies

  7. Leave to cook on a high heat for around 10 minutes

  8. Once the lentils have cooked and the sauce has thickened, turn the heat to medium and add in the coconut powder

  9. Let the coconut milk boil in the pan with the lentils for a further minute

  10. Turn off the heat and serve piping hot! - Easy squeasy :)