This slow-cooker dal recipe has a range of pleasing textures: red lentils and millet break down as they cook, and the toor dal, which are split pigeon peas, stay toothsome. Look for all three ingredients at Indian markets or natural-foods stores. The crock pot does most of the work for this healthy vegetarian recipe, and a quick herbed yogurt added just before serving brightens up the flavors. Bonus: Both the dal and the yogurt can be made ahead and the leftovers are wonderful.
Tips: Made from Indian Kashmiri chiles, Kashmiri chile powder has mild heat and a vibrant red hue. Look for it at Indian markets or online. For a substitute, use regular chili powder.
Used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, asafetida (as-uh-fet-i-duh) is known for its distinct, slightly sulfurous aroma that works synergistically with other spices to enhance them--similar to the way anchovies can amp up a dish's flavor without you knowing they're there. You can find the spice at Indian markets or online.
Curry leaves are native to South Asia. They have a faint citrusy flavor. Find fresh curry leaves in the produce section (and sometimes in the freezer) at Asian markets and some natural-foods stores. Freeze extra leaves airtight for up to 2 months.
To make ahead: Refrigerate dal (Step 1) for up to 2 days. Refrigerate herbed yogurt (Step 2) for up to 2 days.
Equipment: 4- to 7-qt. slow cooker
1 cup dal & 1/4 cup herbed yogurt
306 calories; protein 14g; carbohydrates 48.5g; dietary fiber 8g; sugars 6.9g; fat 7.7g; saturated fat 3.9g; cholesterol 15.5mg; vitamin a iu 8008.9IU; vitamin c 18.8mg; folate 157.3mcg; calcium 163.9mg; iron 4.2mg; magnesium 97.8mg; potassium 826.3mg; sodium 501.9mg.