Dal 1: Potatoes, Fresh Turmeric, and Whole Spices

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

For even more fresh turmeric flavor and color, go ahead and grate a second thumb-size piece on top of the finished dal.


  • 2 cups (about 380 g) mixed lentils and hearty grains (I like half yellow split peas, a quarter red lentils, and a quarter hard red wheat berries)
  • 8 ounces (255 g) small Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 coins fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, split but kept in one piece
  • 1 thumb-size piece fresh or frozen turmeric root
  • Salt
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste



    Put the lentils and grains in a sieve and rinse under running water. Dump into the slow cooker and add the potatoes and 6 cups (1.4 L) water.

    In a skillet or sauté pan, heat the ghee over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Scrape into the cooker and add the chiles. Scrape the peel off the turmeric root (use a small spoon for this), then finely grate it into the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


    Season the dal with salt and stir in the lemon juice. Serve.