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Slow cooker Lentil Dahl

August 16, 2010

in Recipes, Side dish, Slow cooking, Vegan, Vegetarian

I swear I do not own Fenugreek, Kaffir lime leaves, green Cardamom, black cumin seeds or any other substance you need wikipedia’s  help to spell out. What I do own as of last week is an easy-peasy (lentils are so hard to rhyme) lentil dahl (inspired, I have no claim of authenticity) dish that cooks itself in your slow cooker while you save a few rupee on Indian takeout. This dish incorporates everything I like about an Indian dish. It is creamy and complex in flavour, not in preparation steps. No need to dust off your mortar and pestle folks. Just your taste buds.

Slow cooker Lentil Dahl


2 cups dry red lentils
1 can (800 ml/28 oz) cubed tomatoes
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp minced garlic
a thumb size ginger root piece, grated or minced (keep it in the freezer and grate straight into your dish for a no-brainer anytime ginger fix)
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dry chili flakes
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper


1. In a small microwave safe dish mix garlic, ginger, curry, chili flakes and oil and microwave for 30-40 seconds, until your kitchen smells like down town Bombay.

2. Pour your microwaves mix in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and close the lid.

3. Cook on Low for about 6 hours or on High for 2.5-3 hours.

4. Decorate with some fresh corriander or green onions and serve with fragnant white rice (Basmati or Jasmin are great), fresh bread or buttered Naan (miam).

5. Told you you could do it.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Gitte August 18, 2010 at 10:21 am

I have a slow cooker but it’s so old I wouldn’t trust it to be on for 1 hours without catching on fire LOL, I think I better invest in a new one because this sounds heavenly and I simply must try it. Looks delicious.

ayallawt August 19, 2010 at 1:17 am

Thanks gitte!

And go get that slow cooker, it is so worth it! I am on a crusade to find minimal prep recipes that basically cook themselfs. Check out my slow cooking category.

Frank June 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

How much does this make? I have a 6.5 liter slow cooker, should I double or triple the ingredients to get a full pot?

ayallawt June 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Hi there Frank and sorry for the late reply.

I would try and double the recipe. Good luck and please come back to let me know how it came out!

erika November 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Loved this recipe! So did my one year old. Definitely going into my cookbook of favourites. Thanks!

Kara May 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

This was so good! Love that it is fresh ingredients without the fuss. I must admit that I added cubed sweet potato when adding everything to the slow cooker, and then added chopped silverbeet about 1/2 hour before serving. Yummo, family, including 4 kids devoured it.

ayallawt May 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm

So glad to hear you liked it! I’ll try the sweet potatoes next time, thanks!

Heather August 7, 2012 at 12:14 am

This is so amazing! I see what you mean “complex in flavour, not in preparation steps”. I thought I had some left over canned tomatos in my freezer but it turned out to just be tomato paste… still wanted to make it so just added the water to make 800 ml and it still turned out great!

Allie August 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm

This recipe is fantastic! It’s easy, uses common ingredients, is super delicious and makes great leftovers. Excellent work 🙂

ayallawt August 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Thx Allie!

Lia September 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Made this tonight and my husband and I really enjoyed it alongside some coconut + lime Thai fragrant rice. A special night. I will definitely try your other recipes soon. Have my eye on the lentil patties…

Janine September 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Thanks for this recipe. I made it today and it’s really good. I did tweak the recipe a bit, in that I sweated some onions with the left over coconut milk and garam masala and added it to the food. Very tasty. Thanks for posting it.

ayallawt September 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm

You are welcome janine! Glad you liked it.

ayallawt September 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Thx lia! Coconut lime rice…mmm

Kami October 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Do you use whole red lentils or split ones?

Gabby January 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Hello my daal ws too dry. The taste was wonderful but I think I left it on the slow cooker warm setting for too lon (4 hrs, while I slept) Should I just add water now and re-heat or make a new batch?

ayallawt January 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

try to reheat ir Gabby!

ayallawt January 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

I Use the common split ones

Janine Fowler March 27, 2013 at 6:47 am

Made this today and it was heavenly, even without garlic and ginger, which we were out of. We just happened to have everything else on hand. Husband said this was one of the best things I’d ever made (9.5 out of 10, he said) and my 2 year old went back for seconds.

Pinned this recipe as well! 🙂

ayallawt March 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

Thx Janine! Glad you guys liked. It has been a while since I made this Dahl…maybe I’ll make it today!

All the best!


Clare April 14, 2013 at 6:56 am

Hi, I’m keen to try this recipe out but only have canned organic brown lentils, would these be ok to use or would it turn to mush, unless I cook it on the stove top?

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