Friday, February 12, 2010

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Dhal

Emily's post on red lentil tomato soup (which I have made and LOVE) reminded me of this favorite slow cooker recipe. Crock pot meals can be tricky for me-- as easy as they are, the results can be a bit like "cafeteria food" (to quote my husband). This one seems to work for us for some reason.

A few tweaks:
1) I use more liquid than called for, perhaps double if it fits. It seems my slow cooker tends to let off quite a bit of steam.
2) I replace the water with homemade chicken stock.
3) You could add bits of cooked chicken to make it meatier (I know some of our guys prefer this).

Feel free to be flexible with whatever vegetables and spices you have on hand. I've never made this the same way twice, depending on what's in season.


  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • ½ small cauliflower, florets separated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini
  • ~6 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup some frozen peas


  • 1 ½ cups dry red lentils


  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 3 tsp turmeric
  • 2 ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 3 slices ginger, thickly sliced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste


  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil or margarine
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 400ml water


  1. In the slow cooker, combine all of the vegetables except for the peas. Firmer vegetables should go at the bottom, mushy ones on top.
  2. Add lentils.
  3. Add spices.
  4. Add liquids.
  5. Cook for 7-9 hours on low, 3-4 hours on high or until the lentils have dissolved. Add the peas, cook for 10 minutes more.
  6. Serve with basmati rice, naan or other flat bread.

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