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Sri Lankan Coconut Dhal

Sri Lankan Coconut Dhal Curry

  • Author: Ingrid DeHart -
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 cup masoor dhal (red lentils) or moong dhal (split mung beans) preferable soaked
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 2 curry leaves (optional)
  • ½ medium red onion sliced
  • 12 green chilies, sliced (Serrano chiles are good)
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tomato chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  1. Rinse the lentils.
  2. Heat water and lentils along with the turmeric. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until just cooked, 30-45 minutes. Skim off and discard any foam that rises.
  3. Add coconut milk.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, heat oil in a saute pan until shimmering.
  5. Add mustard seeds, once they start to pop add the cumin and fenugreek seeds and sauté for 30 seconds.
  6. Add sliced onions, curry leaves (if using), green chilies and salt.
  7. Sauté for 5 minutes on low heat until the onions are soft.
  8. Add tomatoes (if using) and sauté 2 minutes.
  9. Add cooked onions and spices to cooked lentils.
  10. Mix all together, add lime juice.
  11. Taste to adjust salt. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan