Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Simple Slow-Cooker Yellow Dal

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
Share This:

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

“Dal” is an absolute staple in our house. It is pure and simple, Indian comfort food.

Essentially, it is spiced lentil stew. Rich, warm spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander fill my kitchen when I’m cooking dal. And the husband always loves it. Layla does too! She eats it up with no problems at all.

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

You can make dal with just about any type of lentil. I like using split chickpeas – or “chana dal” because of their flavor and texture. But I’ve made dal with red lentils, small black lentils, even black eyed peas! You can use the same spice combo and switch out your legume and it still works great.

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

I often serve it with some sort of “sabji” or stir-fried veggies with Indian spices, but oftentimes I’ll throw veggies like kale or sweet potato straight into the dal and eat it as a one-pot dish.

The best thing about this is – you can cook the lentils in the slow cooker, and just add in the spice mixture at the end, so your “active” time ends up being only 15 minutes! Or, if you don’t have a slow cooker, you can let it simmer on the stove for an hour or so and you’ll be good to go.

Kitchen Tools I Used for this Recipe:

The Ingredients

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 cup split chickpeas (or chana dal), soaked in cold water for 1 hour
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp salt

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

The Directions

Step 1: Add the lentils, salt, and 3 cups of water to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

Step 2: When your lentils are close to done, heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add a couple cumin seeds to test out the heat of the oil. If they pop, the oil is ready to go! Add all of your cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let cook for 10-15 seconds (until the seeds pop). Then add your coriander, turmeric, cayenne, onion, tomato, and garlic, stir for 30 seconds, and turn the heat down to medium low. Let it cook until the onions become translucent and the tomatoes break down.

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

Step 3: Add the onion/tomato/spice mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Top with cilantro and serve!

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

How easy is that? Thanks to a slow cooker it literally is a 3 step process.

simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

This dal will warm you up from the inside out. It’s vegetarian, vegan and gluten free, and it is just about the tastiest healthy meal you will ever eat 🙂

Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Simple Slow-Cooker Yellow Dal

Essentially, it is spiced lentil stew. Rich, warm spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander fill my kitchen when I’m cooking dal. And the husband always loves it.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 cup split chickpeas or chana dal soaked in cold water for 1 hour. You can also use yellow split peas if you don't have chana dal.
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Add the lentils, salt, and 3 cups of water to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours.
  • When your lentils are close to done, heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add a couple cumin seeds to test out the heat of the oil. If they pop, the oil is ready to go! Add all of your cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let cook for 10-15 seconds (until the seeds pop). Then add your coriander, turmeric, cayenne, onion, tomato, and garlic, stir for 30 seconds, and turn the heat down to medium low. Let it cook until the onions become translucent and the tomatoes break down.
  • Add the onion/tomato/spice mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Top with cilantro and serve!

Notes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3.4g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Sodium: 581mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 4g
simple slow cooker yellow dal. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes for weight

Posted In…

Recipes ·

From healthy baby food to student snacks and comfort food favorites, I have delicious, nutritious, plant-based recipes for the whole family (picky eaters included!) to enjoy.

Following a special diet or cooking for someone who has one? I’ve got you covered! Try my gluten-freevegan, vegetarian, baby food, or kid-friendly recipes. They are all easy to adapt to fit your family’s needs – without sacrificing flavor or quality. Easy suggestions and swaps can help you create meals for everyone.

68 responses to “Simple Slow-Cooker Yellow Dal”

  1. I’m wanting to make this but I’m not supposed to have tomatoes, what would you replace the tomatoes with?
    Thankyou 🌻

  2. Can you DOUBLE the recipe? If so, would you need to double ALL of the ingredients too, including the dry ingredients? Thanks for the recipe, Anjali!5 stars

  3. Hi!!! Great recipe! Would love to try it out. I have red lentils — would this recipe still work for it?? Just have to soak??

  4. Love this recipe added Ming beans red lentils, small potato, grated ginger and minced green chili. Let the pot do the work over night. YUM!5 stars

  5. I made the recipe today and OH MY GOD!!! I won’t need to go to a restaurant to get them every again. DELICIOUS! The only thing I would add is ginger. But other than that, it’s perfect! I’m happy I found it5 stars

  6. So easy to make and really tasty! Love the detailed description on how to make it with the helpful little tips too esp for a beginner!!. . Thank you so much. God bless you 💕5 stars

    • Hi Zachary! You can just heat it as you would anything else in the microwave. You can cover it with a plate so that it doesn’t spatter. After reheating, if it’s not soupy enough, you can add a little bit of water and reheat it again. Hope that helps!

  7. Hi, I only have ground cumin on hand, can I use this instead of seeds, and do I adjust the amount then? This looks like an awesome comfort food.

    • Hi Jeanne! You can definitely use ground cumin instead of whole cumin! One teaspoon of cumin seeds will yield about 3/4 teaspoon of ground cumin – so you can use that ratio for replacing it. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2022 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.