Sri Lankan Dhal

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Sri Lankan Dhal

So one of the earliest recipes I’ve ever posted on this site is my Whipped Dal. I essentially made a dal, then added some mayo and blitzed it for a minute to create a hummus-like dip. The weirdest thing, I didn’t actually take a picture of the dal to post separately. Well, I’ve fixed that today. This is another recipe I learned from the host of my homestay in Kandy. The other recipe posted is one for Chicken Devel. This Sri Lankan Dhal is a bit different than my prior Indian style one, and in my opinion it is even better!

Dhal just means lentils, and that is the base of this entire recipe. It is also known as Parippu Curry, but that could be contentious since this is more rustic and I treat it as a chip dip. In fact, this Sri Lankan Dhal does make a great gameday snack, and can bring a bit of ethnic flair to an otherwise American grazing table.

There are a variety of Lentils that one can use when making a dhal, but this one uses yellow lentils. They take a while to cook, but I was so impressed with the quality of them in Kandy, Sri Lanka. One of the best things about lentils is just how cheap they are. Even in America they are one of the best calorie/price foods available so if you are on a budget…lentils.

Sri Lankan Dhal Cooking Notes

Because lentils take a while to cook it is best to start this dish before others. The total time can be close to an hour. It is also very important to wash the lentils well as they may not have been cleaned well coming from the farm. You definitely do not want to cook up any bugs or dirt in your Sri Lankan Dhal.

Sri Lankan Dhal

Sri Lankan Dhal

This is an authentic Sri Lankan Dhal recipe taught to me during a trip to Kandy, Sri Lanka. I think it's perfect as a chip dip, and may even be able to replace guacamole as my go to party dip.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Keyword: Dal Curry, Dhal, Parippu
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Cost: $5


  • Pot


  • 100 grams Yellow Lentils
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 125 ml Coconut Milk fresh is best
  • 20 Curry leaves
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 pinch Chili Powder optional
  • 1 pinch Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt or to taste


  • Wash the dhal. Let soak for 10 minutes in cold water, then strain.
  • Put all the ingredients except the coconut milk into a pot and add about a cup of water. Or depending on your pot enough water that will evaporate within 20 minutes.
  • Once the water is almost gone and the dhal is almost boiled, add the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Mix everything together and place in a bowl. Serve alongside chips.


You can add a flavored oil to this Sri Lankan Dhal. In a saucepan add a bit of cooking oil and bring up the temperature. Add mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds. Add chopped garlic for another 15 seconds. Add the flavored oil to the dhal at the end before you mix everything up.
Did you make this?Mention @CookingToEntertain or tag #cookingtoentertain and let me know how it was!

This recipe also features in my article Best Sri Lankan Recipes

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