Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crockpot Dal Recipe

So it's getting to be that time of year again for me where simple and easy dinners are the way to go.  I work all day and then when I get home, I want to have time to do at least 80 minutes of activity.  It doesn't leave much time for cooking a fancy dinner.  Those dinners just have to wait until the weekend if even then!  Monday nights are especially busy because that's when I go to my Weight Watchers meetings.  It's so convenient to just come home with dinner ready.  That's why I love the crockpot so much.  But to be honest, I have never been a big fan of crockpot dinners.  Most of the time it ends up just being beans and chili which are not really my favorite meals.  But I now have two favorite crockpot recipes that I make pretty consistently.  The first one is a recipe that I posted back in January for Slow Cooker Tofu and Spinach in Peanut Coconut Sauce.  I have modified it a bit to "bulk" it up with veggies to make it more Weight Watchers friendly. 

The second recipe is the Crockpot Dal recipe that will follow.  This recipe is near and dear to my heart because a lifelong  friend of mine went out of her way to make delicious vegan food for me when I came to visit.  She made so many wonderful vegan meals, but this one really sticks out because it's so easy to make.  Some of the spices might seem kind of hard to find, but once you find them, this recipe is super easy.  I love Indian food and I really think this recipe captures some of those spices.  I think this recipe was adapted from HareKrishna.com but I am not sure.  I can't seem to find the original anywhere. 

Crockpot Dal
-1 cup uncooked mung beans, rinsed
-4 1/2 cups water
-1 cup chopped tomatoes
-1-2 zucchini, chopped
-5 TBSP vegan butter (I actually use 4 TBSP of Smart Balance Light)
-1/2 TBSP minced ginger (I probably use about 1/2 tsp of powdered ginger)
-1 1/2 TBSP cumin seeds
-1 TBSP black mustard seeds (I could only find brown mustard seeds so that's what I use)
-1/4 tsp hing (aka Asafoetida-I found it in the spice section at Whole Foods-Frontier brand)
-1 1/2 tsp turmeric
-1 TBSP salt (I think you could get by with using less if you didn't want to use this much salt)

I chop up the tomatoes and zucchini the night before and put it in the fridge. Then I just throw everything in the crockpot the next day, give it a good stir (make sure the vegan butter is not in one big clump) and cook on low for about 6 hours.

I serve it over whole wheat couscous but you could use any grain.  Enjoy!

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