Family Dhal Recipe πŸ’•

Β Image credit: My Sri Lankan Recipes



Traditional Dhal Curry RecipeΒ (serves 6-8 people)Β 


IngredientsΒ Β 

2 tbs oil/ghee (clarified butter)

2 cups yellow split peas

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 chopped onion

3 chopped green chillies

1 red chilli

1 diced tomatoΒ 

3-4 finely sliced garlic cloves

1-1.5L cold water

2 stems of curry leaves

2-3 sprigs of fresh coriander leaves (to garnish)

2-3 green stems of chopped spring onion (optional)

1 tsp lemon juice




  1. Boil yellow split peas in a large pot with one litre of water and salt, on medium heat, for approximately one hour until yellow split peas are fine.
  2. Add remaining water if consistency is too thick - you are after a thick stew type of consistency.Β 
  3. Lower the heat and add green chillies, tomato, garlic and turmeric powder.
  4. Allow to simmer until garlic is translucent.Β 
  5. In a separate small pot/frying pan, heat oil on a low to medium heat.
  6. Add mustards seeds, cumin seeds and red chilli. Fry for a few seconds until seeds start to pop.
  7. Add curry leaves and onions and brown.
  8. Remove from stove and when cool, add to cooked yellow split pea mixture and allow to simmer.
  9. Add lemon juice to enhance flavour.
  10. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and or chopped green stems of spring onion


Serve with cooked rice/roti, or as an accompaniment to any meat/chicken dish, or Biryani.Β 



Variations to Traditional Dhal Curry Recipe -Β Braised/Curry Dhal Recipe


  1. Cook yellow split peas, as per standard recipe, WITHOUT the addition of the tomato.
  2. In a small pot/frying pan, heat oil on low to medium heat.
  3. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red chilli.
  4. Add diced tomato and curry leaves.
  5. Add green beans (cut into small even pieces) OR spinach leaves OR 1/4 small cabbage (shredded) OR cauliflower florets OR eggplant (cubed).
  6. Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder to vegetable mix.
  7. Add 1 teaspoon of curry powder to mix.
  8. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to vegetable mix and braise - do not over cook.
  9. Add to yellow split pea mixture and simmer for a few minutes.
  10. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to above mixture, stir and enjoy!