Sri Lankan Coconut Milk Lentil Curry | Pappu

A mildly spiced, delicious lentil curry with coconut milk… 




I love how similar Sri Lankan food is to our food, after trying a few recipes like their chicken curry and the Wattalappam. So when the theme of “Gravies Side dish for Flatbreads” was declared for the Blogging Marathon #147, I wanted to try any curry from this cuisine and landed up on this delicious lentil curry with coconut milk in it.


I love anything with coconut milk and hence loved this gravy too. It was absolutely easy to make, and despite the limited ingredients used, I totally loved how it turned out. The spice came from the green chillies and despite the coconut milk added, it didn’t cut on the spice. All you need to do is to cook the lentils separately with green chillies and turmeric. Then, you just need to saute the rest of the ingredients, add the cooked lentils and finish off with the coconut milk. Of course, it tastes amazing with plain rice, but let it get thicker and enjoy it by scooping it with parathas, chapathis or just plain good – equally good! Off to this simple recipe…

5 from 4 votes

Sri Lankan Coconut Milk Lentil Curry | Pappu

An easy yet luscious lentil curry, made Sri Lankan style...
Course Main Course
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda AR


  • 3/4 cup masoor dal
  • 3 green chillies add more for spiciness
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 5-6 dried red chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pressure cooker, add the washed lentils, green chillies, turmeric, some salt and a pinch of oil, with sufficient water - a cup should do.
  • Pressure cook for one whistle and keep on low flame for five minutes. Switch off and allow the pressure to go on its own.
  • In an earthern pot, heat the coconut oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Briefly fry the cumin and fenugreek seeds.
  • Fry the curry leaves, dried red chillies and garlic for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the onion and saute till browned.
  • Now add the cooked dal along with a little more water, if too thick. Mix it in and simmer for the flavors to mingle.
  • Add the coconut milk, adjust salt and just simmer for a minute - do not boil or else the curry will split. Switch off and leave it closed for a few minutes.
  • Serve warm with side of choice.


After such a long time, I have a blog post with just one picture. It was tough capturing it and my camera, which is showing signs of wear off, was acting weird. At least, I have one… It isn’t like not having anything… 😀




Join the Conversation

  1. Srividhya Gopalakrishnan says:

    5 stars
    ha ha same here, I love anything with coconut milk too. The Srilankan cuisine has a lot too offer for us. Masoor dal and coconut milk combination is something I love too. On a side note, do you follow the channel “traditional me” Srilankan channel on YT? I am sure you will love it.

  2. 5 stars
    I have tried many Sri Lankan dishes and they taste so good. In fact my brother was in Sri Lanka so I picked up lot of Sri Lankan dishes from his cook.
    This curry sounds so good, would love to try !

  3. 5 stars
    I love love this dal! I made this dal when I was exploring Sri Lankan cuisine, We love it make often from that time. Your clicks of dal looks stunning! Great recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Me too love dishes with coconut milk! Love the simplicity of this Sri Lankan curry. Quick, easy and flavorsome Would definitely love to try this sometime.

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