Slow-Cooker Dal Makhani


Using a slow cooker for this dal curry recipe is brilliant—the lentils cook until they're perfectly tender. For the creamiest results, use whole urad dal (versus split), which you can get online or at Indian markets. This particular bean breaks down beautifully, giving the dish its rich, creamy texture. For a stovetop variation, see below. Serve it over rice with Indian-style green chutney and a side of plain yogurt.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
16 hrs 20 mins
8 servings


  • 5 cups water

  • 1 ⅔ cups dry whole urad dal, rinsed

  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 10 whole cardamom pods

  • 8 whole cloves

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish


  1. Combine water and urad dal in a 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Soak for 8 to 12 hours.

  2. Turn the slow cooker to Low. Stir in kidney beans, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, cumin, garam masala and cayenne. Cover and cook for 8 hours.

  3. Remove the cardamom pods, if desired. Stir in tomatoes and cilantro. Serve with more cilantro, if desired.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.


4-1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker

Stovetop variation

In Step 1, soak the dal in 7 cups of water in a large pot. In Step 2, stir in the kidney beans flavorings and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours. Remove from heat. Finish with Step 3.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

149 Calories
1g Fat
27g Carbs
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 149
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 11g 38%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 10g 19%
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Vitamin A 153IU 3%
Vitamin C 5mg 6%
Folate 38mcg 9%
Sodium 318mg 14%
Calcium 61mg 5%
Iron 3mg 18%
Magnesium 26mg 6%
Potassium 266mg 6%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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