No matter the season, our craving for Indian food is always alive and well. With such rich and bold flavors, how could we possibly quiet our desire for the delectable dishes from the far East? That said, ordering our favorite curries every night can get a bit costly, which made us realize we could save money without giving up our favorite dishes. We've developed our culinary skills, from mastering salads to whipping up dinner in only 30 minutes; why not also become proficient in the Indian dishes we crave so often? The best place for a beginner to start is with a handy slow cooker to guide the way.
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.
Let's dig our forks into a list of the 13 best slow cooker Indian dishes that you should definitely add to your recipe box.
Vegetable Slow Cooker Quinoa With Golden Milk
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.
Why We Love It: This recipe is incredibly healthy and soothing to our stomachs. If you’re feeling a seasonal cold creeping in, just throw these ingredients in your slow cooker and prepare to feel an instant boost.
Coconut Curry Vegan Ramen
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.
Why We Love It: This recipe is a mixture of two of our most craved cuisines, Japanese and Indian, so fusing them in one healthy bowl only seems natural.
Curry Lentil Soup With Butternut Squash and Greens
The Hero Ingredient: Garam masala is a traditional mixture of ground Indian spices that keeps us coming back for more. You’ll see it in many of these slow cooker Indian recipes. It is one of the reasons these meals are so distinctive.
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.
Sunday Mutton Curry
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.
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.
Vegan Cauliflower Rice Kitchari
The Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower Rice Kitchari
Why We Love It: This is a great Ayurvedic-based (a 3,000-year-old alternative medicine based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit) 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.
Cauliflower Kale Chickpea Curry Pot
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.
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.
Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry
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.
Why We Love It: This mouthwatering meal is just the right amount of savory, salty, and sweet.
Finish the dish off with toasted cashews and cilantro to really tie in the seasonings.
Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Cashew Chicken
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.
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.
Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Eggplant
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Eggplant
The Hero Ingredient: Many people avoid eggplant and zucchini for not knowing how to incorporate them into the menu, but that's no longer the case. This recipe is the perfect way to get your nightshade doses in one big scoop.
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.
Slow Cooker Kerala Fish Curry (Meen Moili)
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Kerala Fish Curry (Meen Moili)
The Hero Ingredient: Ground fennel is what gives this recipe such a special aroma. When marinated 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.
Why We Love It: We often see so many meat-based Indian dishes, but it’s refreshing to see something that incorporates seafood.
Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Kheema with Peas
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.
Why We Love It: This recipe calls for ghee butter, which uplifts the individuality of each spice and vegetable for a richly flavored outcome.
Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry
The Recipe: Chickpea and 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."
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.
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Curry
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.
Why We Love It: While thoroughly cooking chicken can be touchy, a slow cooker does the work for you and makes sure everything is cooked to perfection.