Inspired by Sri Lanka – Prawn and Yellow Lentil Curry with Cheats Pol Sambola

Luckily the oven roasted spice mix makes enough for two curries, as you will want to make this again and again! Filling, earthy flavours with the added zing of the ‘Cheats Pol Sambola’ to really tickle your tastebuds.

Serves: 2, or 4 if you add rice

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 – 40mins

Ingredients: For the Sri Lankan Spice Mix, 1 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 2 tsp. mustard seeds, 2 tsp. fennel seeds, 2 tsp. coriander seeds

For the lentils: 1 cup of red or yellow lentils, 3 cups of cold water, 2 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick

For the curry: 1 can of full fat coconut milk, 12 – 16 King Prawns (depending on size and how many you want!), 2 garlic cloves, 1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled, 1 red chilli, 1 tsp of coconut oil, (can use vegetable oil), 1 tsp. tumeric

For the ‘Cheats Pol Sambola’: 1/2 small red onion finely sliced, 1.1/2 tbsps. of natural desiccated coconut, 1/2 tsp. of dried chilli flakes (more of less depending on how much heat you like), juice of 1/2 a lime, 1 tsp. fish sauce.


  1. First pre-heat your oven to 200F, place all of the spice mix spices in a roasting tin and roast for 8-10 minutes until starting to brown
  2. Rinse your lentils and add to a pan with 3 cups of cold water, the cloves and cinnamon stick
  3. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-15mins until softened, drain and remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and put to one side until ready to use
  4. Now make your ‘Pol Sambola’, by mixing all ingredients together and then placing in the fridge until ready to use
  5. Once your spices have cooled a bit give them a good bash in a pestle and mortar or a quick blitz in a food processor
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan and add the garlic, chilli, turmeric and ginger, fry for a few minutes then add half of your spice mix, save the rest in an air tight container for another time!
  7. Fry for a further 2 – minutes before adding the cooked lentils and coating well in the mixture
  8. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 10mins
  9. Add your prawns and cook for a few minutes longer to heat through
  10. Serve with ‘Pol Samba’ and enjoy!
Three decades of civil war and the tsunami in 2004, have left the children of Sri Lanka extremely vulnerable with many of them still suffering from both emotional and physically scars. The tsunami killed tens of thousands of people and flattened towns and villages. Save The Children have since rebuilt 21 schools, safe places for children to play and provided emergency aid and education to 130,000 children. They are also working with local organisations and government to reunite children with their families and develop Early Children Care and Development programmes to give children a better future. To find out more please visit:

Remember all recipes are created for you not only to enjoy, but to also raise awareness of the struggles these countries face on a daily basis, so if you would like to make a donation to Save The Children who are working everyday to support children around the World, please visit my just giving page by clicking the link Just Giving for more information.

Thanks x