Onam Sadya Special: Lentils in coconut milk (Parippu curry)

parippu_onamIt’s Onam again! And I should say Onam week since Onam is perhaps the only Indian festival that lasts for 10 days! Of course only folks in kerala get a chance to celebrate it for 10 days. Less privileged ones like us have to wait for the weekend. But celebrate we will. And how? By cooking an array of delectable vegetable dishes all of which have coconut in varying forms and serving them on plantain leaves for a food feast called as ‘sadya’.  Onam I think symbolizes simple pleasures! Being a harvest festival, it underscores the fact that the best foods/recipes are the ones that use the freshest produce with a minimum of ingredients. Fresh from the farm to the table is what Onam always signified although the modern world is only appreciating it now!

DSC_1137 Last year I posted my dad’s special parippu paayasam.Today I wanted to post ‘Parippu’ curry recipe which is simply lentils in coconut milk. There are different variations of this Parippu curry – some folks use yellow split lentils and also use ground coconut instead of coconut milk. Thiis version is my amma’s version where she used always thick coconut milk. She also used to add potatoes to this curry – I don’t remember when she started doing that but I suspect I had something to do with it – I loved potatoes as a kid (and still do! ) and wanted it in every dish! Now this lentil and potato curry in coconut milk is equally loved by my kids too!.  It is very mildly spiced and the coconut milk makes it so creamy and yummy 🙂

Wishing a happy Onam to all those who celebrate 🙂

I am bringing this simple lentils and coconut curry to Fiesta Friday this week.

Lentils in coconut milk (Parippu curry)

  • Servings: Serves about 6-8 as a side dish with rice
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup toor dal (or split yellow dal), washed and drained
  • 1 medium size onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 green chillies, slit length wise
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large potato, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups thick coconut milk (see recipe for extracting coconut milk below) or canned coconut milk
  • 1 fresh sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee


In a pressure cooker, add the washed lentils with the onions, green chillies, salt, turmeric and water. Close the cooker and cook till 3 whistles. Keep aside to cool and then add the potatoes and cook on simmer (without whistle) for 5-7 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. (add more water if needed)

Add the coconut milk and stir and cook for about 1 minute until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn heat off immediately.  Add the fresh curry leaves and the coconut oil or ghee.

*For extracting coconut milk:

1 1/2 cups fresh or fresh frozen grated coconut(thawed)

2 cups of warm water

Blend the coconut with 1 cup of water in a blender or food processor. strain and collect the coconut milk in a container. Add the coconut meat back to the food processor and again blend with the rat of the warm water and strain again to get about 2 cups thick coconut milk. Discard the coconut meat.


  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook the lentils in a regular cooking pot slightly uncovered with double the amount of water for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.


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0 thoughts on “Onam Sadya Special: Lentils in coconut milk (Parippu curry)

      1. Good to hear Indu. Yes the diagnosis was confirmed a while back (lichen planus pigmentosa), which I don’t agree with, the odd thing is it is accompanied by joint pain too. It sucks getting old 🙂

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