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Slow Cooker Masala Lentils (gluten free, soy free)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 -8 servings (8-10 cups)


  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
  • 2 1/4 cups brown green or pardina lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15- ounce can diced or stewed tomatoes with their juices
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste optional, adds a hint of tartness
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • A few shakes black pepper
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • For serving: Rice quinoa, or another whole grain | Fresh herbs


  • Place all ingredients except for the coconut milk in your slow cooker. Stir. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low heat for 6 hours. In the last hour or two of cooking, respectively, check to see if the lentils need more liquid, and add extra broth or water. You can adjust this based on how thick you'd like the finished lentils to be, keeping in mind that you'll be adding more liquid in the form of the coconut milk.
  • When the lentils are ready, stir in the coconut milk. Serve over a whole grain, if desired, and fresh herbs for garnish.
  • Stovetop cooking alternative method: Saute the onion in a little grapeseed or coconut oil till clear and tender. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or so. Add the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until the lentils are thick and resemble a stew (another 15-20 minutes). Stir in the coconut milk and serve.


Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, and they can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.