When I look back on my Postmates history over the last few years, I see a thorough investment being made to keep Indian cuisine alive and well. While I continue to develop my culinary skills from mastering salads to whipping up dinner in 35 mins or less, I thought why not also become proficient in the Eastern dishes I crave so often? The best place for a beginner to start is inevitable with a handy slow cooker to guide the way.
With my strong interest in the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine, I’ve come to realize that this take-out category can also be a very healthy alternative if done right. The use of all those spices—which you will see sprinkled throughout all of these recipes—are actually very beneficial to our digestive systems, skin, and energy levels.
Thus, let’s dig our forks into a list of the 14 best slow cooker Indian recipes that you need to make tonight.
The Recipe: Vegetable Slow Cooker Quinoa with Golden Milk
The Hero Ingredient: Two words: Golden milk. Though this recipe uses pre-made golden milk, creating this glorious ingredient from scratch is easy. All it takes is some coconut milk and powerful super herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon, ground ginger, and black pepper. Add a dash of coconut sugar to sweeten. The outcome is a richly flavorful kick with an unexpected spicy, sweetness.
Pro Tip: Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness writs this “perfectly plant-based-meatless-Monday-kinda-meal is boasting a heavy hit of flavor.” She reminds us it’s a great way to “eat the rainbow” on the daily.
Why We Love It: This recipe is incredibly healthy and soothing to our tummies. If you’re feeling a seasonal cold creepin’ in just throw these ingredients in your slow cooker and prepare to feel an instant boost.
The Recipe: Curry Lentil Soup with Butternut Squash and Greens
The Hero Ingredient: Garam masala is a traditional mixture of ground Indian spices that creates an exotic soul food flavor that keeps us coming back for more. You’ll see it in many of these slow cook Indian recipes. It is one of the reasons these meals are so distinctive.
Pro Tip: Foodie Crush founder, Heidi Larsen cooks the spices into the onion, garlic and ginger mixture to deepen their flavor, adding warmth to the soup. You’ll inevitably want to spend a little more time in the kitchen.
“The aroma as it cooks is intoxicating,” she writes.
Why We Love It: This is a great meal to prep Sunday night and to dip into throughout the week when you’re in need of sustenance. Its lentil base makes it super filling and full of plant protein. It’s easy to re-heat so your family will love it for those busy weekdays.
The Recipe: Coconut Curry Vegan Ramen
The Hero Ingredient: White or yellow miso paste is what makes this recipe unique. Mixed with the traditional curry taste it’s a fusion of two of the most binge-worthy cuisines.
Pro Tip: Dana Shultz of The Minimalist Baker, likes this dish for its ability to be customized to your preferences. “The toppings and noodles are extremely versatile,” she writes.
Why We Love It: As aforementioned, this recipe is a mixture of two of our most craved cuisines, so fusing them together in one healthy bowl only seems natural.
The Recipe: Sunday Mutton Curry
The Hero Ingredient: This recipe calls for green cardamom, a citrusy aromatic flavor that plays nicely against the main ingredient, mutton. In true Indian fashion, it’s all about contrast.
Pro Tip: Kankana Saxena of Playful Cooking prefers the slow cook process for its ability to really infuse the meat with spices. “It not only makes the dish super flavorful but also gradually fills the entire house with its warmth,” she writes.
Why We Love It: This is a great feast to serve when you have guests or the whole family around your table—it’s simple to make but impressive to enjoy.
The Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower Rice Kitchari
The Hero Ingredient: Cauliflower rice makes this recipe Keto-friendly while still ticking off the boxes of Eastern comfort food.
Pro Tip: Schultz finds this to be the perfect dish to make ahead of time and reheat throughout the week. She writes, “it just gets better with time. It’s like a hug.”
Why We Love It: This is a great Ayurvedic-based recipe for supporting your immune system. You never know, a batch of this stuff could keep your family from catching that common cold this year.
The Recipe: Cauliflower Kale Chickpea Curry Pot
The Hero Ingredient: Tuscan kale is the green ingredient this vegetarian recipe needs to make it a delicious source of iron, while the brimming of spices and herbs hides said kale from picky eaters.
Pro Tip: Laura of The First Mess says this dish is deeply nourishing and relatively quick comfort food. She suggests it for those seeking a cozy way to end the day. “There’s lots of vegetables, spice, stewy tomato richness, tender greens, and the heft of chickpeas to fill it out,” she writes.
Why We Love It: This recipe is a one-pot wonder, meaning you get to serve a divine meal to your loved ones, with minimal clean-up.
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry
The Hero Ingredient: What really makes this dish stand-out is the use of sugar pie pumpkin in the recipe, making it satisfying from the inside out. The pumpkin stews nicely and gives the curry an even more abundant taste.
Pro Tip: Holly Erickson, co-founder of The Modern Proper finishes off her dish with toasted cashews and cilantro to really tie in the seasonings.
Why We Love It: This mouthwatering meal is just the right amount of savory, salty, and sweet.
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Cashew Chicken
The Hero Ingredient: When the unsweetened coconut milk blends with the mouth-watering cilantro and rich chicken it creates a magical creamy flavor you won’t soon forget.
Pro Tip: If you’re not afraid of a little more spice, follow Tiffany of Creme de la Crumb’s curry secret: “I like to swap out 1 tablespoon of curry powder for 1 tablespoon of the red paste.”
Why We Love It: While fresh out of the slow cooker is amazing, this curry is arguably better as leftovers for lunch the next day, and the weekdays to follow.
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Eggplant
The Hero Ingredient: Many people avoid eggplant and zucchini for not knowing how to incorporate it into the menu, but no longer. This recipe is the perfect way to get your nightshade doses in one big scoop.
Pro Tip: Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food suggests adding protein to your dish for extra sustenance. “Chickpeas would be awesome for a vegetarian meal,” she writes.
Why We Love It: For those with busy schedules, this recipe is insanely simple.
Throw all your veggies into the slow cooker and go about your day.
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Kerala Fish Curry—Meen Moili
The Hero Ingredient: Ground fennel is what gives this recipe such a special aroma. Allowed to marinate with other spices such as coriander and Indian red chili, this licorice-like flavor sets this seafood dish apart, not to mention fennel promotes good digestion.
Pro Tip: Neela Paniz author of The New Indian Slow Cooker says this dish is perfect for entertaining. Simply keep the curry warm in the cooker while adding sautéed pieces of fish.
Why We Love It: We often see so many meat-based Indian dishes but it’s refreshing to see something that incorporates seafood.
The Recipe: Pumpkin Chickpea Curry
The Hero Ingredient: While we’ve already suggested a pumpkin-based curry when it comes to Indian cuisine you can easily create savory or sweet depending on your herbs. The chickpeas in this recipe are the balancing ingredient that ties those tastes together and ups your dose of protein for this vegetarian dish.
Pro Tip: To make this meal extra hearty, Megan Roosevelt of Healthy Grocery Girl adds a side of sprouted bread or brown rice.
Why We Love It: Pumpkins are rich in tons of vitamins our body needs—whip this meal up when you’re feeling low on energy.
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Kheema with Peas
The Hero Ingredient: While they may not sound all that exciting on their own, peas are used a lot in Indian cuisine. Kheema is often made with red meat, so this chicken and pea option is a much leaner option.
Pro Tip: While food blogger, Phoebe Lapine agrees that the list of spices in any Indian recipe might seem intimidating at first, she says once you’ve invested in your rack it’s simple to throw these dishes together.
Why We Love It: This recipe calls for ghee butter which uplifts the individuality of each spice and vegetable for a richly flavored outcome.
The Recipe: Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry
The Hero Ingredient: Sweet potato lovers rejoice because this might just be your new go-to dinner. The creaminess of a well-cooked sweet potato is the perfect addition to this stew. Food blogger, Sommer Collier of A Spicy Perspective notes that "the fragrant silky sauce is the perfect complement to the hearty chickpeas and sweet potatoes.”
Pro Tip: Collier knows that including a heavy cream in the recipe can result in an ultra-rich luxurious curry however you can substitute coconut milk for a non-dairy dish.
Why We Love It: Indian is actually a very vegetarian-friendly cuisine and this dish is the perfect reflection of that. Even if you are a carnivore, this recipe is so hearty you won’t miss the meat for a second.
The Recipe: Easy Crock Pot Chicken Curry
The Hero Ingredient: This recipe calls for carrots and snap peas, some of our favorite springtime vegetables. This is the perfect seasonal menu item as we gear up for al fresco dining.
Pro Tip: If you steer clear of rice, this dish is delicious on its own, or Joyful Healthy Eats’ Krista Rollins suggests making it low carb by subbing the potatoes for cauliflower.
Why We Love It: While thoroughly cooking chicken can be touchy, a slow cooker does the work for you and makes sure everything is to perfection.