Healthy Slow Cooker Dal Makhani

by Priyanka on February 2, 2013

Some one turned a bit more wiser today, yep , that would be me. I am 30 years old today. For the last few days I have been trying really hard to feel anxious or depressed about turning 30. I have seen so many of my friends behave like 30 is the end of life that I found my own personal experience quite different.

May be its got to do with this little guy, keeps me on my toes all the time. No wonder I feel my birthday came and went like a breeze :)


Whatever it is, I am embracing 30! All I expect for all this positive attitude is that life conveniently throws a good job in front of me, Neil starts sleeping better, I magically lose all the excess weight and I think that will be all. No qualms, really ;)

Moving on,

somethings are mum’s absolute best friend like coffee, white noise machine, baby monitor and slow cooker to name a few among other things. I mean really slow cooker is one of the best invention ever. Throw together ingredients and you have dinner waiting for you after an exhausting day of baby care. I have been scouring the internet for good slow cooker Indian recipes and disappointed to find very few of them. So I picked the few available online and try them with a few modifications obviously.

This first recipe I tried is Daal Makhani literally meaning lentils in a buttery sauce and when I mean butter I mean a couple of sticks of butter. No Good. My version is healthy (only 1.5 tbsp of butter), can be veganized (add earth balance instead of real butter) and so hearty.


Slow Cooker Dal Makhani


  • 1 cup black lentils dry (Black whole urad) Urad is a type of lentil easily available online. If not found, you can substitue with brown lentils too.
  • 1/3 cup kidney beans dry
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 Thai chilly or jalapeno
  • 1 can of diced tomato.
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock/water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander  You can also use about 1.5 tbsp of mild curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%, to makes this vegan you can use almond milk or coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp honey (sugar can be used too)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro fro garnishing.


Soak dry urad dal (lentils) and kidney beans overnight or at least for 6 hours.

After soaking, thoroughly wash them.

Assemble the crockpot and spray a bit of cooking spray before you begin (makes clean up much easier,since food does not stick much)

Add, lentils and beans, onion, chilly, spices, bay leaf and cinnamon


Add the vegetable stock. Don’t add the salt and tomato at this point. 


 Let sit on low for about 8 hours.

After about 8 hours, when the lentils are cooked through, crank it up to high and add the tomato, butter and let it go for another 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes add, salt and finally the milk and honey


 Garnish with cilantro!



I served mine with quinoa.




Let me know if you try this recipe!

Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes? I’d love to hear about them!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anastasia February 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm

This looks awesome! I got a slow cooker for Christmas so I will be trying your recipe out for sure.

I still can’t get over what a cutie Neil is. He looks like he is up to something in that photo! haha :]


Hermommyness February 11, 2013 at 3:39 am

30, 40, they are all just numbers. But I totally get what you are talking about here. I’ve had friends freak out about it, throw crazy parties etc etc. At the end of the day, when you’re 30 yrs + one day old.. you feel pretty much the same as you did the day before :)


Ameena February 13, 2013 at 4:06 am

A very happy, and VERY belated birthday to you! I hope that you had a fantastic day Priyanka!

The dal looks delicious. :)


P February 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Dal and quinoa?! Why didn’t I think of that? Haha. That sounds like such a good combination!

Happy belated b-day :)!


Richa February 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm

glad to see oyu back.. love that daal makhani.. esp with the quinoa.


Lish March 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Thanks Zen Mum! Fabulous recipe and I agree, turning 30 was a no brainer. I LOVED it. I sold my 1st company on my 30th, began design school (a life long goal). You are young and ABLE! I don’t see what the big deal is, but my friends didn’t like it either.
Turning 47 here and LOVING IT! I have a 7 year old (my only) and a husband of 26 years. I think these are the gifts in life and every year should be celebrated!!!


Amelia Grace Kumar March 31, 2013 at 9:51 am

I love dahl makhani and love that you wrote a post how to make in slow cooker…I love the slow cooker, it’s so much easier! Thanks for recipe :-)


Jennifer April 21, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Priyanka, My husband dislikes kidney beans. Can I delete them from the recipe and increase the amount of black whole urad; if so what amount do you suggest I use? – Jennifer


Priyanka April 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Jennifer ~ Absolutely, you can delete the kidney beans from the recipe. If you husband favors any other bean over kidney beans you can add that or just delete it. Hope you like the recipe.


Natali February 18, 2014 at 9:11 am

Hi, everything is in the crockpot now- very excited for dinner tonight! I was just wondering what size of canned diced tomatoes to use? Oz/ ml are both helpful. Thanks!!


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