Sri Lankan Dal – Easy to Make, Dangerously Delicious!

I’ve traveled throughout both India and Sri Lanka, and I’m convinced that this Sri Lankan Dal is hands down one of the easiest and most simple dal recipes I’ve ever encountered.  It’s rich, creamy, and it goes perfectly with some coconut roti!

Sri Lankan Dal
Finished dal (This is quite thick.)
Some ingredients for dal
Some ingredients for dal (shallots, garlic, pandan leaves, curry leaves, green finger chilis)

A Bit About Dal

Dal, put simply, is curried lentil soup/stew (the consistency can vary based on personal preference). While I was in Sri Lanka and years ago when I was in India, dal popped up on the table at breakfast, lunch and dinner time.  But given how delicious it is, I never got tired of it!

To wildly overgeneralize, dal in Sri Lanka (and south India too) is going to have a base of coconut milk, and will likely use curry leaves and pandan leaves.  It will likely also contain a bit of dried tuna. Dal in northern India will likely have a base of onions, tomatoes and a little water, will likely not have coconut milk/coconut products or fish products, will likely contain curry leaves but not pandan, and on occasion will be served with a small dish of plain yogurt.    

Regardless of the region though, typically, dal is eaten with roti, a whole wheat flat bread.  However, it’s also delicious served over rice or even simply eaten by itself.  Of course, if you do combine the leguminous lentils with the carbohydrates that come from rice, wheat or many other grains, you’ll be consuming a high-protein (yet vegetarian) meal as the lentils and grains provide all the amino acids your body needs to make complete proteins!!!

Just as we mentioned in our Sri Lankan sambal recipe , which is a GREAT accompaniment to this dal, the ways to make dal are as numerous as the people making it.  So have fun with this recipe, adjust ingredients to your liking, and rest assured that you’re going to come up with something VERY delicious!

What You’re Going For

This recipe, put very simply, is a curried lentil soup/stew.  It’s got a somewhat thick consistency and should not be very watery.  It can be eaten alone, with rice or with roti. More details in the recipe below!

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