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If you really love slow-cooker recipes, you might feel like you’ve hit a wall when it comes to new ideas. That’s why I’m here to tell you: Slow-cooker Indian recipes are where it’s at. Many traditional Indian recipes are made by slow-cooking meat, beans, or legumes with vegetables and lots of spices, so coming up with slow-cooker versions of them really isn’t much of a stretch.
If you regularly eat Indian food, you know how satisfying it is to cozy up with a bowl of curry, dal, or biriyani. If not, you owe it to yourself to try a slow-cooker Indian recipe or two. Yes, you’ll likely need to buy spices or herbs that you don’t normally use, but it’ll be worth it! Plus, you can use them again in another Indian recipe, since many of the options below have ingredients in common, like turmeric, garam masala and saffron.
For your first slow-cooker Indian recipe, I’d suggest a simple dal, or chicken tikka masala. The options below aren’t all totally authentic, but they’re Indian-inspired and will taste a whole lot like what you get at the takeout place down the street.
1. Lamb Rogan Josh
If you like to venture beyond traditional chicken curry, lamb rogan josh is a staple Indian recipe that comes out of the slow cooker tender and flavorful.
Vegetarian or not, lentil-based dal is a tasty slow-cooker stew that makes a great easy dinner—but also works as lunch leftovers.
3. Chicken Tikka Masala
A favorite for a reason, slow-cooker chicken tikka masala is made by simmering tender bits of chicken in a rich, flavorful sauce.
4. Chana Masala
If you love chickpeas, you need to try them cooking into slow-cooker chana masala, which is spiced but not spicy, and works well over rice or on its own.
5. Chicken and Sweet Potato Korma
This spice-filled slow-cooker chicken curry gets extra heartiness and staying power from big chunks of sweet potatoes.
6. Beef Curry
The combination of tomato, yellow curry powder and garam masala give this slow-cooker beef curry its next-level flavor punch.
7. Saag Aloo
This isn’t your average spinach and potato dish. Stewed with spices and aromatic vegetables, slow-cooker saag aloo works as a side dish or the main even.
8. Aloo Gobi
Slow-cooker aloo gobi (or “alu gobi” depending on the region) is a mix of cauliflower and potatoes, cooked with herbs, spices and aromatics.
9. Saag Paneer
Not your typical vegetable dish, slow-cooker saag paneer is made with a base of blended, spiced spinach. The star of the show is paneer, a mild Indian cheese that tastes a little bit like a cross between tofu and mozzarella.
10. Chicken Saag Curry
This Indian-inspired slow-cooker curry is a hearty mix of spinach and chicken in a spiced broth. Serve it with some naan, or over rice.
11. Dal Makhani
A rich, warming vegetarian dish, slow-cooker dal makhani is made with a combination of black lentils and kidney beans cooked in a little bit of ghee (clarified butter).
12. Mango Chutney
If you want a condiment to keep in the fridge that isn’t ketchup or mustard, try making an Indian-inspired mango chutney in your slow cooker.
13. Tandoori Beef Masala
Made with ground beef instead of stew meat, this budget-friendly slow-cooker beef masala is perfect for any palette.
14. Spicy Chicken Vindaloo
Be warned that this slow-cooker chicken vindaloo isn’t for anyone who doesn’t love spicy heat!
15. Chicken Biriyani
The Indian take on the classic rice-vegetable-meat combination is biriyani. This slow-cooker version is simple but super delicious, and gets color and flavor from saffron.
16. Shredded Tandoori Chicken
You’re not likely to find this slow-cooker shredded tandoori chicken at a classic Indian restaurants, but it’s a great at-home twist on a classic. Plus, you can serve it over rice, stuffed inside a baked potato, or even as a sandwich.
17. Vegetable Masala
Meatless meals certainly don’t need to be tasteless, as this slow-cooker veggie masala proves.