Sri Lankan Parippu (Dhal) Curry


This is a traditional dhal dish served with rice as a side to meat or fish, if you’re being healthy or short for time you can omit the tempered onion mixture.  I’m still mastering this dish, if you overcook the lentils it will be a kind of gruel consistency with the grains disintegrated, not nice.

– 1 cup red lentils

– 1 onion, finely sliced (ignore the pictures on this)

– Small stick of cinnamon

– 1 whole fresh green chilli

– 1 tsp tumeric

– 1 tbsp cooking oil

– 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

– 1 tsp mustard seeds

– 1 dried birdseye chilli

– small sprig of curry leaves (optional)

– 2 tbsp coconut milk powder / splash of coconut milk

– salt

Wash the lentils in water by stirring them around a saucepan with enough water to cover them, let them soak if you have time.  Discard the water and add fresh water, you’re trying to achieve clearer water to cook the lentils in, as you would cook rice.  The water should come up to the first knuckle on your middle finger.









Add a quarter of your onion, cinnamon, chilli and tumeric, bring this to the boil and simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Check that the lentils aren’t catching the bottom, otherwise add a dash more water.


DSC_2665_editedMeanwhile fry off the remaining onion till brown, add the garlic, mustard seed and dried chilli.  When the lentils are bright yellow, still holding shape but soup like in consistency, stir in the coconut milk to make it creamy and add salt to taste.  Turn off the heat and add the tempered onion mixture.

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