Eat Recipes

Sri Lankan Dahl Recipe

Try this delicious and hearty Sri Lankan Dahl Recipe. Images and Recipe by Jo O’Keefe for ele Magazine.

I often make an Indian style dahl but this one has coconut milk and is a great option. I love it served with the potato bean curry and pandan rice. This recipe is perfect for a vegan option too. This dahl recipe is so simple to make and is perfect to serve as a larger Sri Lankan feast.


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 green chilli, halved
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder/cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
Sri Lankan Dahl Recipe


  1. Rinse the red lentils until the water runs clear.
  2. In a large pot add red lentils, 1.5 cups of water, chopped onion and tomatoes, green chili, curry leaves, minced ginger, sliced garlic, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Bring to boil.
  3. Turn the heat to medium, cover the pot and cook the lentils until all of the water is absorbed and lentils are cooked through (about 15 minutes).
  4. Add the coconut milk and 1 cup of water, stir to combine. Cover and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  5. Serve with rice. Enjoy!
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