I was lucky enough to stay with a local family during my stay in Sri Lanka. This is one of my favourite recipes I brought back with me. This is a traditional dahl recipe. In Sri Lanka you eat a few curry dishes together so there are normally some separate vegetable dishes to accompany it but it can equally be enjoyed as a main by itself.



  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • Small handful Curry Leaves
  • (optional) 1 Chilli
  • 2 cups (350g) Red Split Lentils
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 2 heaped tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • (optional) Some extra spices that work well: 1 tsp Cumin, 1tbsp Curry Powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups Water


Finely chop the onion, garlic, and chilli (if desired). Wash and drain the lentils

Fry the onion, garlic, chilli (if you like it hot) and crushed curry leaves until the onion is soft (3-5 minutes)

Add the lentils and stir. Let cook for about 2 minutes

Add the coconut milk and spices

Stir frequently and add water as needed.

Cook until lentils are soft (about 30mins- but this can vary with different Lentils)

Serve with rice, potatoes, or poppadoms