Crock Pot Indian Spiced Lentils

This Sunday is Mother’s Day.

From the very beginning of my husband and I getting married, I always told him that even if we didn’t have children at that time, he would still celebrate me on that day.

I would often joke with him and say, “Silly husband, I’m basically a mother to you. I cook, clean, scrub, feed, drive, and clean your dirty toilets…”

Ironically enough his birthday falls near or on Mother’s day ever year, which means we usually share the holiday…

And I somehow still end up cleaning those dirty toilets. πŸ™‚

All joking aside, each year Mother’s day has been very special to me. I’m surrounded by beautiful woman in my life who have been amazing mother figures to me, this including my own mama. Then after having Baby Boo, the day only became more special because I have been so blessed to be a mother to someone (soon to be 2 someones) so amazing. Motherhood and mother-figures are such a powerful and beautiful thing, that I am truly honored to celebrate it this weekend for the many motherly woman out there!

Usually when it comes to special occasions, the first food I request is chocolate of some sort. Heavy, rich, and filling is all that I ask for, a long with a big glass of coconut milk and some trash Tv. Hot right?

This year, I told my husband I still want the chocolate but I also want something else. (Yea that’s me, always have to have more and more! πŸ™‚ )

Since trying Indian food for the first time last year, my husband and I have gone out to Indian restaurants every opportunity we get. I load up on naan like no other, and my husband sweats curry from his shiny forehead. We are addicted.

For a while now I have been wanting to make it at home, and I finally did just that. I’ve made this dish numerous times, with different add ins and beans, and each time I cry with joy and wipe my tears with naan bread.

It’s heavenly, and the ultimate comfort food.

Woah Mama!

Indian Spiced Lentils

*This dish is a kind of similar to a traditional Indian dish called Chana Masala, which is made from chickpeas. The first time I made this, I used chickpeas and didn’t add anything else. Since then, I have switched it up to lentils (because it was what I had on hand), and threw in a few other veggies that were in my kitchen. Everything pairs beautiful! It’s the perfect dish that makes you feel happy inside! πŸ™‚ On top of everything else, I made it in a crock pot! Easy!

*Inspiration: Smitten Kitchen


2 1/2 c. cooked lentils

1 sweet potato peeled and finely diced

1 yellow bell pepper finely diced

1 medium onion finely diced

3-4 cloves garlic finely diced

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. cayanne (can add more for additional heat)

1 tsp. ground tumeric

2 tsp. paprika

1 TB. ground coriander

1 tsp. garam masala

2/3 c. vegetable broth (organic)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Gather all your ingredients, including chopped veggies. I used a food processor for my onion, bell pepper, and garlic to speed it up. (It also finely dices them the way I like!)

2. Throw everything into a crock pot, and set on high for 3 hours, or until sweet potatoes are soft and cooked. This can also be done over the stove, just cook the garlic and onions with some oil over heat for a little bit until brown. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook over stove top for at least 30 min, or until potatoes are soft.

3. Serve with brown rice and naan bread.

I made homemade Whole Wheat Naan Bread, and I loved it!! I got the recipe from Jessica @ How Sweet it is! I used whole wheat pastry flour, coconut milk, and greek yogurt. You could definitely use a non dairy soy plain yogurt too! I topped with coconut oil, rosemary, and mashed garlic.

Indian food and naan just may be the perfect present for myself or any mother out there this weekend!

Throw in a day without toilet bowl cleaning, and sweet golly gee willakers…

Now THAT’S more like it!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

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  1. You had me at “crock pot”. This looks fabulous! Happy Mother’s Day to you. πŸ™‚

  2. Michelle Macdonald says:

    What kind of lentils are these? I have red ones in the cupboard, but I am not sure if there are other varieties and this is a specific one? This looks fantastic! My husband and I have gotten into Indian food recently too and I was just saying on the weekend that I need to start learning to cook it! You have great recipes, keep them coming! I pinned this today too.

    • Awe thanks so much Michelle that is very sweet of you! I LOVE indian food! I used brown lentils, but you could use red as well, I don’t see it turning out any different. Let me know if you make it, would love to hear your feedback!! Thanks again!

    • Red lentils are a fraction of the size, they tend to completely disappear when cooked. If you substituted them you would end up with a bowl of mush, with no resemblance to the dish above. Brown, or even French, would work great. Please don’t attempt this dish with red unless you would like a bowl of baby food πŸ˜‰

      • melanie serre says:

        Red lentils are one of the kinds used in the Indian dish Dal (Dahl). They are fantastic incorporated into any dish using lentils but they do break down quite a bit when cooked for some period of time. I think using red lentils would be fantastic in this dish, however, if you wanted to use a lentil that holds it’s shape then using brown or green would be the way to go. I will be using red.

      • If you go to your neighborhood Indian grocery store, you will find these labeled “whole Masoor Dal.” That’s what this dish is. Growing up it was my favorite!

  3. I have never made lentils but omg they look delicious Ari! I still can’t believe you’re going to have another baby πŸ˜€

  4. Yummy! I’m a huge fan of Indian too and I always need more ways to use up lentils(I swear they’re reproducing in my cupboard!) I’m a fan of anything vegetarian made in the crock pot, I don’t have enough veggie recipes for the crock pot. Going to try this for sure πŸ™‚

  5. Ooh how I love Indian food! Yay for this! I am always loving new Indian recipes πŸ™‚

  6. Sorry this is a silly question…am I right that you cook the lentils FIRST and then put them into the crock pot? I’m making this tonight and want to be sure I don’t have mush lentils:) Thanks!!!

    • Not a silly question at all! You are right though, the recipe calls for already cooked lentils, so you don’t want to add dry lentils to the pot. If you don’t have access/time for cooked lentils, you could sub chickpeas too! Hope that helps!!

    • Alternatively if you have dried lentils in your cupboard use them up! Toss them in with water (or a bit of broth) ahead for a few hours to cook them in the crock pot, then toss in the rest πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks so much for the speedy reply!!! I’ve got lentils, and will cook ’em now:) I’m excited for dinner!

  8. Christina. says:

    Hi Ari,

    Came across your blog a few days ago and LOVE it. Just wondering, how do you cook your lentils before putting them in the crockpot? Boiling?? Thanks in advance!

    • I buy pre-cooked lentils at my local trader joes, but if you can’t find pre-cooked ones you can buy dry and boil them in water or broth! πŸ™‚

  9. Are you sure it’s necessary to cook them before? I figure that the time in the crock pot would cook them enough. Lentils cook pretty quickly.

    • You probably could, but I’ve never tried it. I just had cooked lentils on hand so that’s why I used them.

    • I just cooked mine for a few minutes while I prepped all the other ingredients then drained them and added them to the crock pot with about 1/2 c extra water. They were plenty well done.

  10. I am making those recipe right now! Found it on pinterest. Can’t wait πŸ™‚

  11. I made this last night with dry lentils & doubled the stock. Turned out great! Delicious:)

  12. I love lentils and my kids love legumes too so this is a great recipe to include to my rotation. Instead of sweet potatoes I added carrots (we had sweet potatoes yesterday) The smell is so good I just want to spoon it out of the crock pot now! Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Is this a low fat low calorie meal? ( The Lentils)

    • I don’t know the nutritional information exactly, but It’s definitely not a high fat meal, and I can’t imagine it being high in calories πŸ™‚ Hope that helps Grace!

  14. I put dried lentils in and doubled the stock as wel. Mine did not cook and we had crunchy lentils as a result. Anyone know a good way to use this as a crockpot meal without having to cook the lentils or buy canned ones? Thanks!

  15. Yvette Muir says:

    This is without a doubt, the BEST lentil recipe I have ever tried (and I’ve tried about 50)!! I’m throwing away all my other recipes!! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

  16. This recipe is amazing!!! I added carrots and potatoes instead of sweet potatoes! Thanks for posting!!!

  17. Just put ingredients in the crock pot. My husband is going to be a very happy man when he comes home πŸ™‚ made just one change to the recipe. I had to use white potatos because we didn’t have any sweet at home…hope it still turns out good πŸ™‚

  18. One of my spices gave it a horrible bitter aftertaste but I don’t know which one or why. I made a few changes: I didn’t have tomato sauce or coriander and I only cooked my lentils a couple minutes before adding them but I didn’t alter the other spices. Why might this have happened?

    • I’m so sorry Naomi!
      I’m thinking it could be the fact that there isn’t any tomato sauce, since that would tone down the spices a bit. Sorry again!

  19. Megan Hawthorne says:

    OMG, this was totally delicious. I think the word was divine! And really easy too. I sometimes find that if I do a slow cook recipe stove top the veggies are too crunchy so I sauteed mine in butter first. Yum! Next time I’ll saute in local, organic, pastured, raw ghee!

  20. omg! Such a good recipe. this was so easy to make!!! I made it without the garam masala because I forgot to get it when I went grocery shopping so I improvised using the ingredients found in garam masala. I also used the stove top, not a crock pot; super yummy!

  21. Hi! Quick question, what if i use uncooked lentils? Do you have any idea of how long i’ll have to put it in the crockpot? Thank you so much!

  22. Maybe my reading comprehension is off, but in step 2 you say ” Throw everything into a crock pot…” “…Then add the rest of the ingredients…” What ingredients am I adding there if I already threw everything in?

    • No you are right Katie, I am a horrible recipe writer. (I don’t do well with grammar and righting things correctly. And, I’m a blogger haha! SO sorry!)
      But basically every ingredient in step 1 goes into the crockpot, then the remaining ingredients go in after, such as the spices and what not. Hope that helps. I’m going to change it so it’s better understood! Sorry again!

  23. about how many would this feed?! I’m thinking about making it this weekend for my Indian food loving family!

  24. Hi, wondering how many servings are made with this recipe? Thanks!

  25. Love your recipe and LOVE your style of writing. You are human, honest about it, and paint a fun picture of your family and life. Thank you!

  26. Please could you tell me how many this recipe serves. I have 5 to feed and want to work out my quantities so I can make this tomorrow. Thanks ????

  27. this might seem really stupid but i think i am like ocd or something but do you mean 2and 1/2 cups of lentils or 2 of 1/2 c lentils making it 1? i am sorry i realize its dumb question but please help!! πŸ˜€

  28. I would so much love to make this naan! I tried the links but the page doesn’t exist anymore πŸ™ Is there another way to get this recipe please? Thank you

  29. This was my first dish to be cooked for my first attempt at using a slow cooker. It’s not a very appealing looking dish, but what it lacks it looks it sure makes up with taste. Delcious and hearty! Thank you for posting this πŸ™‚

  30. I found there the spice measurements way too big for this recipe. If I cooked it again I’d use about 4x as much vegetables/tomato sauce/water to balance it out.

  31. Coming in late on this thread…when I make lentils or any type of dried bean or grain, adding tomatoes or sauce too early stops them from cooking down to an edible consistency. Hold off the tomatoes to the end if you are experiencing this problem.

  32. odessa1891 says:

    Do you think I could leave in the crockpot for over 8 hours and would be ok?

  33. Hello! If I were to use chickpeas, would I put them in dry with the rest of the ingredients or cook them separately? Could I also use canned chickpeas?

    • I would suggest canned chickpeas, because dried take a lot longer to cook/soak, etc. If you have a pressure cooker you could try the recipe with dried :).
      But yes, canned chickpeas should work just fine.


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