Slow Cook Tarka Dahl

The ease of the slow cooker

Well i must say that this one surprised me....Last week i bought my Slow Cooker as you can read here >>> Slow Cooker, what’s all about?

I never make Dahl (Dal) and thought by having my slow cooker now, that i would give it another try. Cause i don’t like to wait and stir while cooking, it tires me so much to wait. So my second recipe i mad with this cooker was this Dal with red Lentils.

I found a recipe in a book and adjusted it to my taste. I also read a lot about slow cooking and know that you better bake your onions and spices like in the indian kitchen, cause that gives the ultimate indian flavour in these dishes.
It’s not really an extra effort, you can make this all in 1 separate pan and then transfer it all to your slow cooker. While cooking, you can do many other things or just reading an exciting book :)

This Dal serves 4


3 tbsp sunflower oil
250 gr Red Lentils
1 Onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (curcuma)
1 tsp Black Cumin 
2 cm Fresh root ginger peeled and finely shopped
200 gr canned chopped tomatoes
600 ml vegetable stock (boiled)
Salt and Pepper
2 hands full of fresh Spinach

INGREDIENTS (Part 2, for the Tarka) : 

1 Tbsp of Sunflower oil
2 tsp of black cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (curcuma)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped


Rinse the Lentils with cold water till the water is clean and let drain well.

Add 2 tbsp of sunflower oil in a little pan with the chopped onion, cook till it turns golden, then add the spices >> 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp black cumin seeds and fresh ginger. Let turn golden to light brown. Add 1 more tbsp of sunflower oil to make it more glazy.

Now transfer the lentils to the slow cooker and add the spiced onion mixture from the pan, stir to combine well. Add a little salt and pepper, 200 gr of chopped tomatoes can and the 600 ml vegetable stock. Stir to combine. Turn on the slow cooker with lid on and let cook on HIGH heat for approximately 2 1/2 hours.

While it’s cooking, now make the Tarka spices >>

In the same pan you used before add the sunflower oil and 2 tsp of Black cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric and the 2 fine chopped garlic cloves. After some minutes on medium heat, you will smell the spices and how good that smmmmmmells.....mmmmm.
Turn off the heat when ready and transfer to a little bowl, to add later.
You can clean your pan and your kitchen in the meanwhile....that’s fun isn’t it?

Do not lift the lid or you will lose the damp that you need to cook the lentils. Slow cooking is all about adding it to the pot and don’t look at it for some hours :)

10 minutes before the end of cooking time, add the Tarka spices that you set aside earlier and stir to combine, let cook for the remaining 10 minutes. After 2 1/2 hours the lentils are already soft and tender, so no need to worry about lifting up the lid. then add the 2 hands full of fresh spinach and let cook a bit on LOW heat for about 5 minutes. Stir to combine 2 times or so. 

Spoon into bowls and serve this dish with Basmati rice and Naan or Chapati.

In Pictures 

Tarka spices

Tarka spices