Slow cooker sweet potato and red lentil tikka masala delivers big flavor with little work. Enjoy this vegan, one-dish wonder over rice with warm pita to fend off winter chill on any hectic weeknight.The temps are cooling down in Colorado (lows in the 30’s all next week) with the lingering threat of our first snow of the season on Monday(!!). I’d be lying if I said I were excited about my first winter in Denver (read: I’m terrified), but as long as this Florida girl is equipped with endless mugs of hot coffee and vats of cozy curries and spicy soups, I’ll survive.
Enter: this hug in a bowl. This fragrant, Indian-style main hits all the right notes with its rich spices and concentrated dose of aromatics. And despite being 100% plant-based, the lentils pump up the protein to make the dish far more satisfying and satiating than it may seem.
One of the key spices in tikka masala is Garam Masala—a Northern Indian spice blend known to give curries and strews their dynamic layers of flavor. If you don’t feel the need to buy a whole container of it, just look for it in the bulk spice section of your local supermarket and buy as little or as much as you need (I usually do this at Sprouts or Whole Foods).
Adding the coconut milk at the end mellows the acidity and spice while adding unrivaled creaminess.I love serving this over brown basmati rice with a dollop of yogurt and warm pita on the side. Feel free to top it with toasted cashews or peanuts for added crunch, and loads of fresh herbs to brighten it up (cilantro, Thai basil, etc.).
And to make dinnertime even easier, use heat-and-eat pouches of precooked unseasoned basmati rice (such as Uncle Ben’s) to spoon the tikka masala over.Set it in the morning and come home to the comforting scents of Indian spice wafting through your kitchen. It doesn’t get easier (or tastier) than this.
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 1 Tbsp. garam masala
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 qt. vegetable broth
- 1 (13.5-oz.) can lite coconut milk
- For serving: white or brown basmati rice, a dollop of yogurt, grilled pita, and fresh cilantro or basil (if desired).
- Place all ingredients (excluding coconut milk, rice, and garnishes) in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray; stir well to combine. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Turn off heat; stir in coconut milk. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
- Serve over rice and garnish with pita, cilantro, or basil, if desired.