For some reason, just picturing a slow cooker conjures up an image of warmth, sharing and comfort food for me. Not to mention convenience – how great is it to be able to throw your ingredients in in the morning, then to leave it plugged in while you go about your day and come home to a pot of ready-to-eat deliciousness? Almost seems like magic!
This recipe isn’t your typical slow cooker recipe. It is loaded with spices and flavor and involves a few more ingredients and a a bit more prep than a typical slow cooker recipe, but it’s worth it. Plus it will last you for a while. Red lentils are loaded with protein, fiber, B vitamins and iron, so you’re getting a ton of nutrition as well as flavor with this dish. Serve with some quinoa or brown rice and you’ve got yourself a hearty satisfying meal.
Recipe courtesy of Cafe Johnsonia
- 3 cups red lentils, yellow split peas, or split mung beans (or a combination)
- 6 cups water
- One 28 ounce 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, fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For serving:
- Hot cooked quinoa or brown rice
- cilantro, optional
- extra onion and cumin seeds, optional
- fresh lemon juice, optional
- Place lentils/peas/beans 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.
- 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.
- 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, to taste.
- To serve – Ladle the daal over quinoa or brown rice and top with a squeeze of fresh lemon, cilantro, and more seeds, if desired.