Slow Cooker Tarka Dahl

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recipe by Octopus Publishing

  • Time icon
    Total Time
    4hrs 25mins
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

This Indian dahl recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Lentils are slow-cooked with fragrant spices until tender and drizzled with a punchy, aromatic tarka. Serve with warm naan to scoop up the creamy lentils.

recipe updated Jun 14, 2019


  • Red lentils icon
    Red lentils
    1.33 cups (268g)
  • Onion icon
    1 (140g)
  • Cumin seeds icon
    Cumin seeds
    1 tsp (2g)
  • Ginger icon
    about ¾ inch (as needed)
  • Vegetable stock icon
    Vegetable stock
    2.5 cups (600ml)
  • Garlic clove icon
    Garlic clove
  • Cilantro icon
    as needed
  • Pita bread icon
    Pita bread
    as needed
  • Ground turmeric icon
    Ground turmeric
    as needed
  • Canned chopped tomatoes icon
    Canned chopped tomatoes
    ¾ cup
  • Salt & pepper icon
    Salt & pepper
    as needed
  • Sunflower oil icon
    Sunflower oil
    1 tbsp (15ml)
  • Mustard seeds icon
    Mustard seeds
  • Ground turmeric icon
    Ground turmeric
    about ½ teaspoon (1g)
  • Plain yogurt icon
    Plain yogurt
    about ¾ cup (161g)


  • kCook icon Skillet pan
  • kCook icon Slow cooker
  • kCook icon Slow cooker bowl
  • kCook icon Large cast iron skillet
  • kCook icon Medium bowl

Step preview

  1. Add red lentils, onion, cumin seeds, ground turmeric, ginger, canned chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock to a clean slow cooker bowl
  2. Season with salt & pepper
  3. Cover
  4. Cook in slow cooker until softened - 3 hr 30 min, high heat
  5. Heat sunflower oil to a clean large cast iron skillet
  6. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ground turmeric and garlic clove to the large cast iron skillet
  7. Fry while stirring occasionally - 2 min
  8. Mash lentil mixture coarsely with potato masher
  9. Transfer lentil mixture to 4 medium bowls
  10. Pour oil mixture into 4 medium bowls evenly
  11. Spoon plain yogurt into the medium bowls
  12. Garnish with cilantro
  13. serve with pita bread the medium bowls
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