How to make a Sri Lankan Dhal Curry in 25 minutes

How to make a Sri Lankan Dhal Curry in 25 minutes

Sri Lankan Dhal Curry is a staple dish in Sri Lankan cuisine and is one of the most widely eaten foods in the country.

When cooking dhal, which is generally red lentils, a lovely combination of spices is used to flavor the lentils, and then a few spoons of coconut milk is added to produce a rich stew.

Dhal curry is ubiquitous in Sri Lanka, and it’s eaten with a variety of rice and bread dishes to round out the meal.

Recipe for dhal curry, which is an original Sri Lankan dish that can be prepared in less than 25 minutes.

The Sri Lankan Dhal Curry recipe, which is also known as “parippu” in Sinhalese, is a popular and common vegetarian side dish in most households and restaurants around the country.

This Sri Lankan Dhal Curry is also one of the quickest vegan comfort foods to prepare, taking less than 25 minutes to prepare. Some of us (including myself) have no issue eating it on a daily basis.

It’s gently spiced and creamy, and it’s something that most non-spicy food fans (even children) would like!

When you’ve spent the morning doing errands or when you’ve just finished a long day of household duties and you need to prepare a supper for your children who will be home in an hour. This is the end of the road.

To round off the lunch menu, there’s dhal, rice (cooked in the rice cooker, of course), and chicken curry.

It’s fast, easy, and adaptable to a variety of situations.

I’m not sure whether you’ve noticed, but I’m always astounded at how diverse the flavor of cooked red lentils can be depending on who’s cooking them.

Some people want their dhal curry (parippu) to be quite hot with a lot of tempering, while others prefer it to be light and mild with a lot of coconut milk.

It’s also a fantastic introduction to Sri Lankan cuisine for those who are new to it.

Ingredients for dhal curry that are used for tempering

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Curried curry leaves, one sprig (a few to be used for tempering and half while cooking the dhal)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (a few to be used for tempering ad half while cooking the dhal)
  • 1 big onion (about) (a few to be used for tempering and half t while cooking the dhal)
  • Turmeric powder, one teaspoon at a time (half to be used for tempering and half while cooking the dhal)
  • red chili flecks or two entire dried red chilies (about 1 teaspoon total)
  • mustard seeds (about half a teaspoon)
  • To prepare the Dhal curry, follow these steps:
  • 1 cup Dhal (lentils) (lentils,parippu)
  • half a cup of distilled water (increase to 1 cup if you find that the amount of water is suggested is not adequate to cook the dhal at this stage)
  • Several of the additional elements indicated above for tempering are included here (turmeric, curry leaves, garlic, onions)
  • the sliced green chilies (102 pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sodium chloride
  • 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk (optional).


  • Remove the big onion and garlic (four pods) from the pan and put them aside to cool.
  • In a large skillet, heat three tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the curry leaves, chopped garlic, onions, and turmeric powder (1 tsp).
  • For 2 minutes, sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions become transparent.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the chilli flakes (1 tsp) or 2 whole dried red chilies when the onions are starting to turn golden brown. Cook for 2 minutes after adding the mustard seeds (1 tsp) and stirring constantly.
  • Once all of the ingredients have become golden brown, take the tempered ingredients from the fire and place them in a separate dish to cool completely.
  • Lentils should be properly washed.
  • Add the washed lentils/daal (about 1 cup) to the pan you used for the tempering and heat through (saves washing).
  • Pour in the water (1/2 cup; add to 1 cup if you discover that the quantity of water advised is insufficient to cook the dhal at this point.) and mix well.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric, a few slices of onion, garlic, green chillies, and curry leaves, and cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Cook the lentils/daal until the water has evaporated, which should take around 10 minutes on a medium heat setting.
  • When the lentils are done cooking, slowly pour in the coconut milk (1/2 cup) and bring the pot to a simmer over low heat. After 10 minutes, season with salt to taste.
  • Finally, add the fried onions to the curry and combine well. If you are feeding visitors, you should have a little amount of the tempering on hand.
  • If desired, transfer the lentils or dal curry to a serving dish and top with the leftover tempering for a traditional Sri Lankan presentation of lentils or dal.

Serve the prepared Sri Lankan Dhal Curry with rice and curry while still heated.