Slow-cooker chili is great, but if you're looking for a "set it and forget it" recipe with a little more spice, pick up a copy of author Neela Paniz's The New Indian Slow Cooker. This collection of classic Indian recipes made even simpler with your slow-cooker is a surefire way to ease into fall and winter cuisine.
Chandan used to cook some of the specialties from his home region in the mountains just south of the Himalayas, including this particular dal. It takes its flavor from the addition of fresh spinach leaves and the roasting of garlic and ginger in the ghee; the heat comes from the crushed red chiles. Although this dish is great by itself, serving it with lamb chops with browned onions and tomatoes or roast chicken, along with either rice or flat bread, makes for a scrumptious meal.
The spinach needs to be added after the beans are cooked and while the cooker is still on the warm mode. This prevents the leaves from totally disintegrating into the dal.
- 1 1/3 cups mung beans
- 4 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups fresh spinach leaves, stems removed, washed several times
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- pinch of asafetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons peeled ginger, minced
- Before prepping the ingredients, turn the slow cooker on to the high setting for 15 minutes, until the insert is warmed through.
- Pick over the mung beans for any foreign objects.
- Wash them in a bowl in several changes of water until the last wash runs almost clear.
- Add the mung beans to the slow cooker along with the water and salt and cook for 3 1/2 hours on low.
- When the timer sounds and the cooker is on the warm setting, add the spinach leaves and mix well.
- Allow the leaves to wilt into the hot mung beans. If not serving within 30 minutes, turn the machine off and remove the insert.
- When ready to serve, reheat the mung beans if necessary and put them in a serving dish.
- Heat the ghee in a small skillet on high heat.
- Carefully add the asafetida and the cumin seeds and when they stop sputtering, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- As the garlic begins to show color, add the red pepper flakes and pour the tadka on top of the prepared lentils.
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