I have a love-hate relationship with this cookbook, The Indian Slow Cooker:50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes. Let me start with what I DON’T like about it. It’s format is Landscape, not Portrait. This is enough to warrant a “grrrrrr”. Secondly, the recipes are hit or miss. I’m not concerned with authenticity of the region of India but I am ULTRA annoyed when I make a slow-cooker recipe while spending a long Sunday of chores and running errands, only to find the result is sometimes “just eh”. Third, the portions are sized to feed a small village. Even if I was a family of 5, the full yield is ridiculously abundant and I can’t eat Chickpeas for 6 days in a row.
However, there are great things about this book which is the reason it will continue to claim a footprint on my bookshelf. First, it makes me use my Slow Cooker. A slow cooker is great for meat dishes, but even better for beans/legumes. (Remember back in the day when I became friends with my Rival?) A LOT of Indian foods which are bean/legume/lentil-based can be made beautifully in a slow cooker. The other way to make these Indian dishes is using a pressure cooker, but I am simply not friends with my pressure cooker. And i’m no pet owner, but if I recall correctly, a pressure cooker will scare the crap out of a dog. Secondly, after a day of work, it’s just awesome to come home to a steamy fragrant Indian dinner that was made so effortlessly.
I’ve now leaned on this book as a good guide for Indian meals and there are certainly a few recipes from this book that I follow to a “T”. I appreciate this book for giving me another cooking option, a better cooking option, for some Indian home-cooked favorites.
Slow Cooker Spinach and Sweet Potato Dal
from The Indian Slow Cooker:50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
Are you a waist-watcher? This recipe is perfect and it’s just so healthy, tasty, and filling when spooned over rice. I started with her recipe, Simple Greens and Lentil Soup, made roughly 1/3 of the recipe, added diced sweet potato and 1/2 box of frozen spinach. I also added fresh spinach that I had on hand, but that is not necessary. These mentioned changes are reflected in italics below next to each ingredient.
3 cups (603 g) dried, split, and skinned yellow yellow moong dal, cleaned and washed thoroughly (Qty: 1 cup)
1 (1-inch [2.5 cm]) piece ginger, peeled and grated or ground in a food processor (1/2″ pc.)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, grated, or ground in a food processor (1 clove)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) tomato paste (omitted)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) whole cumin seed (1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground coriander (1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) garam masala (1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) turmeric powder (1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) salt (2 teaspoons)
12 cups (2.84 L) water (4 cups)
4 cups (804g) firmly packed greens, washed and coarsely chopped. (OR 1/2 box of frozen spinach)
added 1.5 cups diced sweet potato, 1″ cubes
1. Put the lentils, ginger, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, salt, sweet potato and water in the slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 6 hours, then add the spinach. Turn off the slow cooker and let sit for 15 minutes with the lid on. Serve as a soup or over basmati or brown rice.