Sri Lankan Dahl

Sri Lankan Dahl
Thank you to my grandma (who grew up in Sri Lanka) for the best coconut sambol recipe everrr. A simple, next level combo which I cook at least once a month. Also makes for happy guests who never fail to request the recipe at dinner parties.



    For the dahl:

    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 red onion, finely chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
    • Handful fresh curry leaves (about 20 leaves)
    • 2 cups dried red lentils (washed and rinsed)
    • 3 tbsp coriander, ground
    • 1 tbsp cumin, ground
    • 1 tbsp turmeric
    • 1 tbsp salt flakes
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 ½ tsp chilli powder
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 1L coconut milk (4 x 270ml tins)
    • Rice vermicelli noodles (I like the Wai Wai brand), to serve

    For the coconut sambol:

    • 1 cup desiccated coconut
    • ½ red onion, finely diced
    • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • ½ tsp salt flakes
    • 4 fresh curry leaves, finely sliced
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • 3 tsp Sambol Olek (or less if you don’t want too much spice)


    For the dahl:

    1. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
    2. Add your onion, garlic, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
    3. Sauté until translucent and lightly caramelised.
    4. Add the lentils, spices and 1L of water, then cover with a lid and continue cooking on medium heat.
    5. Check after 5 minutes to see if water has come to a boil.
    6. Once water has come to a boil, add coconut milk, and place lid back on, slightly ajar.
    7. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer.
    8. The dahl is ready just after the coconut milk comes to a boil.
    9. For the coconut sambol, combine all ingredients until incorporated. Season to taste, add more Sambol Olek and lemon juice as needed.
    10. Season to taste and serve with vermicelli noodles, and coconut sambol.

    For the coconut sambol:

    1. Combine all ingredients until incorporated.
    2. Season to taste, add more Sambol Olek and lemon juice as needed.

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