Slow Cooker Vegan Dal Makhani

Yes, you read the title right. Today I am sharing the vegan version of Dal Makhani. The word Makhani means butter and the traditional version calls for both butter and cream. I am presenting the vegan version sans butter and cream, but I can guarantee the rich and creamy taste, thanks to the slow cooking concept and of course my slow cooker.  Earlier this Monday, I posted the Vegan Turmeric and Saffron rice that I prepared in my rice cooker. Today I am presenting the gravy that I served along with the rice which I prepared in my slow cooker.

Both Dal Makhani and the saffron rice are exotic recipes but believe me I prepared this during the weekdays.  Thanks to my kitchen appliances which helps me to whip up these recipes quickly. As Dal Makhani involves soaking time, you need to plan and soak the dal ahead. Once you have the soaked dal, rest all can be assembled pretty easily. Few of my friends were asking for day-to-day vegan recipes. In that quest, I took non-vegan recipes and started trying out the vegan version of the same. One such attempt is this Vegan Dal Makhani.

slowcookerdalmakhani

I started to try and experiment all the North Indian sides only after coming to US. I used to get store bought masala powders for all the gravies and for dal Makhani I did the same. Of course I saw the ingredients in the masala and later started to try my own masala mix and I am going to share the same today. Its the mix of garam masala (I usually add garam masala along with the dal),  red chilly powder, coriander powder and amchur powder. One interesting ingredient in this masala mix, is the Mace or Jaathipathiri and also nutmeg. I have explained about these two the Dindigul Biryani recipe. You need very small amount of these two but believe me, these two add that unique flavor to the recipe. Also for Dal Makhani I used three Dals in equal proportion, One by third cup of channa dal and one by third cup of black urad dal and one by third cup of red kidney beans. Channa dal can be skipped but as we like the flavor of it so I always opt for that.

vegandalmakhaniBefore getting into the recipe, let me share how I planned and executed this recipe.

  • I soak the dals overnight.
  • Next day morning I let the dals cook in slow cooker for 7 hours. (I usually set it before going to work)
  • Evening by the time I get back from work, the dal will be all cooked.
  • While preparing the masala mix for the dal, I did the prep work for my saffron and turmeric rice and set it in rice cooker.
  • By the time the rice is done, the dal Makhani was also done. Dinner and the next day lunch were all ready for us. :-)

dhalmakhani

Now back to the recipe,

Ingredients:

  • Dals
  • Channa Dal – 1/3 cup
  • Red Kidney Beans – 1/3 cup
  • Black Urad Dal – 1/3 cup
  • Dry Masalas
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp 
  • Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
  • Amchur Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Elaichi / Cardamom Powder – 1/8 tsp (optional)
  • Other Ingredients
  • Mace – a small piece
  • Nutmeg – 1/8 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 2 tsps
  • Hing – 1/8 tsp
  • Onion – 1 (Medium sized)
  • Tomatoes – 2 (Medium sized)
  • Chopped Cilantro – 2 tbsps
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp + 3/4 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Water – 4 cups + for soaking

Prep- Work:

  • Soak the dals overnight or for at least 6 to 7 hours.

soakingdals

  • Chop the tomatoes, onions and cilantro and set aside.
  • Add the dal in the crockpot and add 4 cups of water, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of garam masala and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder. Mix well.
  • Cook the dal in Slow Cooker under high setting mode for 7 hours. 
  • After 7 hours, mash the dal well and set aside.

vegandalmakhanistep1

Preparing the Dal:

vegandalmakhanistep2

  • Heat the kadai and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and hing.
  • As they start to splutter, add the chopped onions and cook until the onion turns translucent.
  • Now add the tomatoes and salt.
  • Mix well and cover and cook until the tomatoes turns soft.
  • At this stage add all the dry masalas(Red chilly powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, cardamom powder)  including mace and nutmeg and mix well.
  • Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Now add the cooked dal and add the sugar. Check for salt and adjust according.
  • Let it simmer in low heat for unto 15 minutes.
  • Finally garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice.

dalmakhani

Notes:

  • You can cook the dal in pressure cooker too. Use the same amount of water and pressure cook for about 4 to 5 whistles and when preparing the gravy let it simmer for more than 15 minutes.
  • For non-vegan version, you can replace the oil with butter and once the gravy is done instead of sugar you can add fresh cream to add the richness.
  • Almond milk or cashew milk can be added too, but I didn’t use them. I used sugar and cardamom powder to get the hint of sweetness.
  • Adjust the salt and spices as per your preference. One or two green chillies can be added too while sautéing onions.
  • I didn’t use ginger-garlic paste. About 1/2 tsp can be added.
  • Channa dal is optional, if you are skipping add 3/4 of rajma beans and 1/4 cup of black dal or in your desired proportion.

dalmakhanicollage

Safety Warning: As Rajma releases toxins when slow cooked, please make sure you soak them for at least 6 to 7 hours.

Slow Cooker Vegan Dal Makhani
The slow cooker, vegan version of the popular, protein rich Punjabi Dal Makhani which is prepared with Red kidney beans, channa dal and black urad dal.
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Prep Time
8 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
Prep Time
8 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. Dals
  2. Channa Dal - 1/3 cup
  3. Red Kidney Beans - 1/3 cup
  4. Black Urad Dal - 1/3 cup
  5. Dry Masalas
  6. Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  7. Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
  8. Red Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
  9. Amchur Powder - 1/4 tsp
  10. Elaichi / Cardamom Powder - 1/8 tsp (optional)
  11. Other Ingredients
  12. Mace - a small piece
  13. Nutmeg - 1/8 tsp
  14. Oil - 1 tbsp
  15. Cumin Seeds - 2 tsps
  16. Hing - 1/8 tsp
  17. Onion - 1 (Medium sized)
  18. Tomatoes - 2 (Medium sized)
  19. Chopped Cilantro - 2 tbsps
  20. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  21. Salt - 3/4 tsp + 3/4 tsp
  22. Sugar - 1 tsp
  23. Water - 4 cups
Prep- Work
  1. Soak the dals overnight or for at least 6 to 7 hours.
  2. Chop the tomatoes, onions and cilantro and set aside.
  3. Add the dal in the crockpot and add 4 cups of water, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of garam masala and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder. Mix well.
  4. Cook the dal in Slow Cooker under high setting mode for 7 hours.
  5. After 7 hours, mash the dal well and set aside.
Preparing the Dal
  1. Heat the kadai and add oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and hing.
  3. As they start to splutter, add the chopped onions and cook until the onion turns translucent.
  4. Now add the tomatoes and salt.
  5. Mix well and cover and cook until the tomatoes turns soft.
  6. At this stage add all the dry masala (Red chilly powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, cardamom powder) including mace and nutmeg and mix well.
  7. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Now add the cooked dal and add the sugar. Check for salt and adjust according.
  9. Let it simmer in low heat for unto 15 minutes.
  10. Finally garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice.
Notes
  1. You can cook the dal in pressure cooker too. Use the same amount of water and pressure cook for about 4 to 5 whistles and when preparing the gravy let it simmer for more than 15 minutes.
  2. For non-vegan version, you can replace the oil with butter and once the gravy is done instead of sugar you can add fresh cream to add the richness.
  3. Almond milk or cashew milk can be added too, but I didn’t use them. I used sugar and cardamom powder to get the hint of sweetness.
  4. Adjust the salt and spices as per your preference. One or two green chillies can be added too while sautéing onions.
  5. I didn’t use ginger-garlic paste. About 1/2 tsp can be added.
  6. Channa dal is optional, if you are skipping add 3/4 of rajma beans and 1/4 cup of black dal or in your desired proportion.
  7. Safety Warning: As Rajma releases toxins when slow cooked, please make sure you soak them for at least 6 to 7 hours.
Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/
 

10 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Vegan Dal Makhani

  1. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

    Such a healthy and delicious looking dal makhani. Love how you made it vegan in slow cooker. Lovely share, Srividhya. Have a lovely weekend.

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