Slow Cooker Red Lentil Dal Recipe

Author: Lindsey Johnson

Recipe type: Main, Side, Vegetarian, Vegan Cuisine: Indian

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 5 hours Total time: 5 hours 10 mins

Serves: 10-12

A hearty, comforting slow cooked dal made from red lentils, split yellow peas, and Indian spices.


3 cups red lentils (can use part yellow split peas or split mung beans, or a combination of two or more)

6 cups water

One 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger

1 Tablespoon turmeric

3 green cardamom pods

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons each: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, onion seeds (nigella), fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon sea salt

ΒΌ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

Hot cooked brown rice

cilantro, optional

extra onion and cumin seeds, optional

fresh lemon juice, optional

Order Ingredients


1. Place red lentils and yellow split peas into a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak for a few minutes and swish to wash the lentils and split peas. Drain well and rinse. Place in a slow cooker and add the 6 cups water. Add the diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cardamom pods, bay leaf, salt and black pepper.

2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add all of the seeds to the pan. Shake the pan while on the heat, or use a wooden spoon to stir, while toasting the seeds. When they smell fragrant, remove from heat and transfer to the slow cooker. (It will probably bubble up a bit as the hot seed hit the liquid.) Stir well to combine all ingredients. Place lid on slow cooker and let cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

3. Remove lid after cooking time and stir. Taste and if lentils are not soft, cook for another 30-60 minutes, if needed. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.

4. To serve – Ladle the daal over brown rice and top with a squeeze of fresh lemon, cilantro, and more seeds, if desired.