Slow Cooker Dal Makhani

4.55 from 24 votes

India's famous Dal Makhani made the in the slow cooker. Lightly tempered, creamy and tastes great with rice or naan.

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Slow Cooker Dal Makhani – black lentils cooked overnight in the slow cooker and then tempered with spices. Dal Makhani is one of India’s most popular dal and is best enjoyed with rice or naan.

Slow Cooker Dal Makhani

Happy Monday! I am sure you all had a relaxing long weekend with family and friends. I think everyone goes into food coma on the day of Thanksgiving but then it amazes me that after eating so much people still have the strength to stand in mile long lines for black Friday! Like there was a mile long queue at the local Target. Can you guys believe it? I am one of those who can never stand in these lines. In fact I stay far away from this Black Friday madness. I prefer shopping online and after watching pictures and videos which went viral on social media from a Nike Outlet Store near Seattle, I am just very glad about my decision. Where is the fun of shopping when you have to literally struggle to walk your way through the aisle? Do you guys go all out shopping on black Friday or do you prefer to stay at home? I didn’t really have a long shopping list anyway but I still ended up buying some kitchen stuff, what else can you expect from a food blogger?

slow-cooker-dal-makhani-recipe

Anyway other than the shopping madness, it was good to just eat and relax for a bit. And obviously we all needed the extra break to let this sink in – Thanksgiving is over! Seriously how? I am still in denial. On the brighter side though, everything looks so pretty outside these days. The lights, the cold, it’s just gorgeous. And when it’s that cold outside you  obviously crave for all warm and comforting food and even better when it’s made in a slow cooker like this Slow Cooker Dal Makhani.

I already have a dal makhani recipe on my blog but it’s the regular version. This one is made in the slow cooker and tastes even better! Dal Makhani is one of  India’s most popular dal preparation. Especially in north India, it’s there on the menu in every wedding and party. Like the previous recipe, this one is also by my hubby. Whenever we make dal makhani, I leave it to him to do all the cooking. I mean he makes the best dal makhani, so why should I interfere with perfection, right?

indian-slow-cooker-dal-makhani

To make this slow cooker dal makhani I used my Instant Pot again and just like my slow cooker chana masala recipe, this one too has few extra steps outside the slow cooker. You basically slow cook the black lentils [urad sabut] overnight and then in the morning add spices, tomato puree, butter and slow cook again for few hours and then do the final tempering. I have to say that slow cooking really works well with Indian recipes. With recipes like chole, dal the flavors have to really come together and slow cooking makes sure that happens. I hope you guys give this slow cooker dal makhani a try, it was definitely one of the best I have ever had.

 

Method

Wash the dal and add it to you slow cooker along with 3 cups water, turmeric powder and salt.

Add 2 teaspoons ghee and mix.

Add ginger garlic paste and give a stir.

slow-cooker-dal-makhani-recipe-step-1

Mix everything and slow cook for 8 hours. I used normal setting on my slow cooker mode on my Instant Pot.

After 8 hours the dal will be soft and cooked.

Take a masher and mash the dal.

slow-cooker-dal-makhani-recipe-step-2

Add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, amchur, red chili powder and mix.

Add tomato puree and mix.

Finally add in the butter and mix and slow cook for 2-3 hours again. After the dal has slow cooked for 2-3 hours, add 1/4 cup heavy cream to it.

slow-cooker-dal-makhani-recipe-step-3

Heat 2 teaspoons ghee.

Once ghee has melted add chopped garlic and whole red chilies.

Saute on medium heat till the garlic starts turning light golden brown.

slow-cooker-dal-makhani-recipe-step-4

Transfer tempering to dal. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, little lemon juice and mix. Garnish with cilantro and serve this slow cooker dal makhani with naan or rice.

Slow Cooker Dal Makhani

* Adjust the quantity of red chili powder, butter and cream to taste. You may add more butter and cream for a creamier (& tastier & more calorie laden!) dal makhani.

* Use store bought tomato puree here, my husband kind of insisted on it so I thought I must mention it here.

Slow Cooker Dal Makhani

4.55 from 24 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 11 hours
Total: 11 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4
India's famous Dal Makhani made the in the slow cooker. Lightly tempered, creamy and tastes great with rice or naan.

Ingredients 

Slow Cook Overnight

  • 1 cup urad dal sabut also known as black lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ghee

To add after slow cooking

  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mango powder also known as amchur
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Tempering

  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 4-5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 whole dried red chilies

1 teaspoon lemon juice

    Cilantro, to garnish

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      Instructions 

      • Wash the dal and add it to you slow cooker along with 3 cups water, turmeric powder and salt.
      • Add 2 teaspoons ghee, ginger garlic paste and give a stir.
      • Mix everything and slow cook for 8 hours. I used normal setting on my slow cooker mode on my Instant Pot.
      • After 8 hours the dal will be soft and cooked. Take a masher and mash the dal.
      • Add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, amchur, red chili powder and mix.
      • Add tomato puree and mix.
      • Finally add in the butter and mix and slow cook for 2-3 hours again. After the dal has slow cooked for 2-3 hours, add 1/4 cup heavy cream to it.
      • Heat 2 teaspoons ghee. Once ghee has melted add chopped garlic and whole red chilies.
      • Saute on medium heat till the garlic starts turning light golden brown.
      • Transfer tempering to dal. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, little lemon juice and mix.
      • Garnish with cilantro and serve this slow cooker dal makhani with naan or rice.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 356kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 959mg, Potassium: 805mg, Fiber: 16g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1020IU, Vitamin C: 56.8mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 5mg

      Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

      Additional Info

      Course: Main Course, Vegetarian
      Cuisine: Indian
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      Slow Cooker Dal Makhani

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      Hi, I’m Manali!

      Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


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      Recipe Rating




      72 Comments

      1. 5 stars
        Made the recipe yesterday…and it was super with my family. It was so creamy and delicious. So good! Thank you!

      2. If I already soaked the urad dal overnight, should I put them in the slow cooker for a shorter period? I am really looking forward to making this recipe, as I’ve enjoyed your other recipes I’ve tried!

      3. Thank you!
        The simplicity of this recipe is amazing – most bang for the buck! I slow cooked with all the ingredients in one go, and added the tadka and the cream at the end- what a dal makhani !!

      4. Hi Manali
        Is it possible to cook this recipe all at once for 8 hours? I am looking for a slow cooker dal recipe that we can cook while we are at work. Thanks.

      5. Can this dish be frozen? I thought I might freeze it just before the cream is due to be added if you tthink the cream won’t freeze well. Then do the tempering when it has been defrosted and reheated again.

          1. Ok. Now my daughter is coming this Tuesday. Today is Sunday and I have just started. Can I complete the whole process and give it to her to take home Tuesday for dinner?

      6. Hi
        My question is it doesn’t take much time for lentils to be cooked? Why should we spend 11 hrs to cook it? I mean does it make any difference? or it is only the traditional way to cook it?

      7. Hey, quick question, I’m planning to make this tonight/tomorrow – should I soak the urid overnight first or will the dried beans be ok in the slow cooker?

        Thanks! I love your recipes!

      8. Hi Manali
        Made this slow cooker version of Dal Makhani and it was delicious. I had to skip the fried garlic at the end as we don’t like the garlicky taste that much. My very picky husband appreciated it the most. Thanks for the recipe. Can we make it a little spicier? It was a bit mild for my palate.

      9. 5 stars
        I have tried this recipe at least 6-7 times now and it never fails!! It’s soooo simple to make, and yet the flavors are so complex. Just use the butter- doesn’t even need the cream at the end to be honest. The slow cooking brings out this creaminess in the lentils, so you can skip the additional calories if you want 🙂

        I always smoke the dal at the end using heated coals and ghee in a bowl which gives it a great authentic smoky flavor.
        The only issue I ever had was when I doubled the recipe and doubled the tempering ingredients, made it too garlicky (I used very large garlic cloves, that’s probably why)- so cut down on that if doubling the Recipe.
        Thanks Manali for these amazing recipes, I love your website!

      10. Hi, I tried the recipe but my didn’t even budge when I put it on slow cook in instant pot. I used the same specs as yours. Can you help?

      11. Do you keep the vent of IP shut or on release when cooking dal makhani overnight on slow cook mode?
        Thanks
        Manisha

      12. I am so excited to try this recipe, Manali! All the comments have sold me on giving this dal a try!

        Was wondering if I could add red beans? How would I do so? I’m not great at working with dried beans or lentils yet.

        Cheers!

      13. 5 stars
        Thanks Manali! Amazing recipe -came out great :). Also – I did not soak the lentils at all, just popped it in and the rest as per your instructions. Was the hero of the lunch menu !!

      14. Hi Manali
        I got a slow cooker just recently. And my first dish is your recipe of dal makhani. It is still in process but I am loving the taste. I didn’t have much idea about a slow cooker until recently and my only guide was the internet. Could you please let me know a little more about the idea of slow cooking.

        1. Hi Mandeep, sorry I am not an expert in slow cooker either…there are many recipe websites which focus only on slow cooker recipes so lookout for them!

      15. 5 stars
        Thanks for this wonderful recipe. This is the first slow cook recipe i tried in our new instant pot, came out really well. I did one mistake of adding cream early . If you can move cream to tempering section, it will help rookies.

      16. 4 stars
        I have used your recipe 2-3 times in the last month already (OK, I know, I should have this dish less often) and it has come out perfect everytime. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for it. Please continue your great work!

        1. haha that’s good to know Aditya! I think you should eat more of it! 😀 Thanks for dropping by and letting me know, appreciate it!

      17. 5 stars
        Namaste! Manali, Thanks for the amazing recipes!. I’m in the UK. Can you clarify what Tomato Puree is? in the UK Tomato puree is really concentrated tomato normally in a tube or a very small tin as its quite intense, you would only add 3 teaspoons of this usually. I looked at your pictures and used ‘Passata’ which is sieved tomatoes, which has a smooth, sauce like consistency – Any help would be useful.
        I managed to view a small preview of you new book which I have pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk and the Dal Makhani is a different recipe to the two on your website, so looking forward to trying that!
        I get these naan’s from the Clay Oven Bakery, made in Leicester, and they are so good, almost like fresh tandoori naan, I made your dal makhani from your website last week and it went down so well, I cooked it even longer during the day before adding cream – Superb! Thanks again Shaun 🙂

        1. Namaste Shaun! 🙂 Okay so tomato puree here in the US isn’t that concentrated…its more liquid-y..what get in tube and is thick and concentrated in called tomato paste here. Hope that clears the confusion. And thank you for pre-ordering my cookbook! hope you enjoy it! 🙂

          1. 5 stars
            Many Thanks Manali Yes, I think it is called ‘Passata’ in the UK. Thanks for clarification. Best Regards Shaun

          2. Hi there,

            Shaun: in Canada, the liquidity and texture of tomato paste is somewhere in between the UK tomato puree (very concentrated) and Italian passata (bottled strained tomatoes). I wonder if you mixed the two, if that would be close to tomato paste…

            Manali: your dahl makhani recipe looks delicious! I’ve only just recently been cooking with black lentils and love their flavour and texture, a bit different from green or red lentils. Love the slow cooker.

      18. 4 stars
        Looks good, season seems good, but we put 1 cup lentils to 3 cups water and after 6 hours the water was all gone and the lentils were burnt? Maybe the lid wasn’t on properly?

      19. 5 stars
        I made this for the first time last night, and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

        I have one suggestion for clarification. I don’t know how much of a difference it would have made, but since the heavy cream was listed with the “after slow-cooking” ingredients, I accidentally added it before the second cooking phase. I know it’s not technically part of the “tempering,” but if it’s important to add it after the cooking, then it would be more intuitive to list the cream with the tempering ingredients. Just my 2 cents. Thanks again!

      20. Hi, looks so yummy!
        but isnt it necessary to pre soak the lentils overnight? I heard that beans and letils and etc. have to be soaked and the remaining water discarded and cooked in fresh water.

      21. I just made this and it is fantastic! I even added my own garam masala since I did t have any on hand. Although I cook a fair amount of Indian food, this is the first time I’ve made black lentils. I eat them at Indian restaurants all the time and have always wanted to make them myself. Thanks for the amazing recipe. The whole family loves it.

        1. Welcome Mar, I am glad you enjoyed the recipe! This is one of the most popular Indian (or should I say the most popular!) lentil dish! 🙂

      22. I love dal, but have never made it at home. This looks like a great dish 🙂 & I agree relaxing is nice!

      23. How often do u use the instant pot? I have been on the fence whether I should buy it or not? How does it differ from a slow cooker? I have a slow cooker . Any insight would be helpful.

        1. Juhi, I love my instant pot! I am actually using it pretty often these days especially as a pressure cooker. I really prefer it over our regular Indian pressure cookers because there’s hardly any mess plus no loud whistle..haha..also it’s great for cooking rice and of course as a slow cooker too. I would say go for it because it’s one amazing product.

      24. I totally stayed home on my couch and bought some kitchen stuff online, too 🙂 Love it!! I can’t even imagine coming home to this after a long day of work… The house must smell so amazing!