Sri Lankan Dal with Carrot Chips and & Panchpuran Chili Oil

A little over a year ago I had an accident that required me to stay overnight in the hospital. When I returned home, a dear friend brought over dinner so that I wouldn't have to worry about cooking for a few days. The dinner was his favorite dal recipe from Sri Lanka, a truly delicious comfort food.

Of course, I've adapted the original recipe with a few Happy Belly After twists. If you don't feel industrious, skip the tarka and rice. Purchase some naan and yogurt and you'll have a delicious dinner with pantry staples in less than an hour. Now that's something to smile about — even the red lentils are blowing a chef’s kiss!

Sri Lankan Dal with Carrot Chips and & Panchpuran Chili Oil

Make the Sri Lankan dal – In a large saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, fresno chili, mustard seeds, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the red lentils , fenugreek and hot water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and add the coconut cream and grated tomato. Ladle into shallow bowls and garnish chopped cilantro and chili oil. Serve with cooked basmati rice, naan and coconut yogurt.

serves 6


  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion , chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red Fresno chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp pink sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups red lentils
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek powder
  • 1 small can coconut cream
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and grated


  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp panchpuran
  • chili oil to taste
  • cooked basmati rice
  • warm naan
  • plant-based yogurt