Red lentils curry is a staple side dish in Sri Lanka. Most of the Sri Lankans will have it for all three meals; with bread for breakfast, with rice for lunch and with string hoppers (steamed noodles with rice flour) or pittu (steamed couscous with rice flour) for dinner. Dhal curry is a versatile dish that can be served with many different main meals.
Sri Lankans call all our side dishes as curries. It could be a stir fry vegetable with grated coconut or yellow curry with coconut milk and turmeric or even a curry with a curry sauce. However here in Western cultures, curry is a term used only for meat or vegetable served in a spicy gravy. However in Sri Lanka any side dish that is served with rice or any main meal is called a curry.
Its not only a wholesome fulfilling meal, warm ball of red lentils soup is quick and easy to make. It is very easy to prepare, since I just put all the ingredients in pressure cooker which cooks lentils in less than 10 minutes. Once lentils are cooked I add some coconut milk / cream and spinach and boil it and serve. This soup takes only less than 15 minutes to prepare, however it is not only filling it is also packed with all necessary nutritions.
With the similar method you can also make lentil curry, just avoid all the vegetables and use less water. Recipe Link
Print Recipe here
50g Red Lentils
50g Wild/ brown/ parboiled rice*
1 medium potato cut into small cubes
1 -2 carrot cut into small cubes
50g frozen spinach cubes or handful of fresh spinach leaves
100ml thick coconut cream / cream
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cummin seeds
pinch of Asafoedita (Hing) powder
2 butter cubes / vegan margarine
Salt to taste
Mince below ingredients using a food processor
1 medium size onion
2-3 green chilies
5-10 curry leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
Add washed red lentils, turmeric, cumin seeds, asafoetida into a heavy bottom pan/ pressure cooker along with diced vegetables. Separately add garlic, onion, ginger, curry leaves, green chilies and tomato into a food processor and blend them coarsely. Add this mixture to the pressure cooker. Pour 300ml little water into the pressure cooker, close the lid and cook for one whistle. Please note that water should completely cover the lentils and vegetables.
Turn off heat, leave it to cool down until all the pressure settles. Afterwards open the lid, add coconut cream, butter cubes/ vegan margarine and salt to taste.
At this point add salt, spinach and to make the soup more liquidy add more water. Close the lid cook till it comes to boiling point. Turn off heat, ladle soup into bowls and serve with bread
· If you are using heavy bottom pan instead of a pressure cooker, you may need to add more water and little more time to cook the lentils.
· Importantly add salt only after lentils are cooked. Because salt slows down cooking lentils.
· Substitute rice with pearl barley or quinoa for more healthier version
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