Sri Lankan Red Lentil Dahl with Brown Rice

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4 people


  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 300g of red lentils
  • Six large cloves of garlic
  • Two inch knob of ginger
  • Three red onions
  • Four small green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seed
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of unroasted curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of black mustard seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • Four cups of brown basmati rice
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 lemon


  1. For every cup of lentils add 3 of water.
  2. Finely dice onions ginger and garlic and fry in a little coconut oil in the bottom of a deep sauce pan until soft and golden brown.
  3. Then add your water and lentils and bring to the boil, simmering for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to ensure that sticking doesn’t occur.
  4. In a wide frying pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil and fry the fenugreek seeds. Then add the mustard seeds, followed by the cumin seeds and finally add the turmeric and curry powder.
  5. Fry all the spices gently In a low heat to infuse all the flavours with the oil. After two minutes add your curry leaves and fry for another 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the tempered spices and coconut milk into the lentil mixture and simmer together for five minutes.
  7. Add salt and lemon juice to taste and garnish with fresh coriander.
  8. To cook the brown basmati rice: rinse rice well under cold water until water runs clear. Cover with water so that the water reaches to the first knuckle of your thumb as the end of your thumb touches the rice. Add a pinch of salt and simmer on a low heat until the water is completely absorbed at the rice is tender. Should take 12 to 14 minutes to steam properly.

Recipe and image courtesy of the chefs at Lentil As Anything.

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