What a Dal: Recipe from ‘Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker’

This recipe was adapted from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker recipe book. I’ve had to add cardamom pods instead of the ground version, but simply removed the pods before serving it up. This recipe is very down to earth and is very easy to put together. Like most slow cooker recipes, the device does all the work for you. This dish would be best served over rice and garnished with coriander leaves. I also think serving a good fruit chutney on the side will make this dish complete.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom or 3 cardamom pods, split open
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans, or a 450g can drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

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  1. Pour the oil into a large flat pan and set the heat to medium.
  2. In a food processor, pureé the onions, garlic, and ginger and add the mix to the pan. Cook until it starts to sizzle gently then turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue to cook and stir for at least 10 minutes. Stir in all the spices and cook for another minute.
  3. Turn the slow cooker to the Low setting and add the spice mix along with the kidney beans, lentils, and water. Season with some salt and stir to combine everything well.
  4. Cover the cooker and let it sit for about 6 to 8 hours, or until the lentils are well done and the desired consistency is reached. Season with some freshly ground black pepper and enjoy over rice with a side of peach or mango chutney.

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*This recipe can also be made using the stovetop method for when you have more time…simply follow steps 1 and 2 then add everything to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Cook for about an hour or until the lentils are done and desired consistency is reached.


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