We eat a lot of hummus in our house.
It’s one of my go-to staples when I don’t feel like cooking anything; I slice up some vegetables, throw them on a plate with some crackers and cheese and put out a bowl of hummus. Nowadays, there are dozens of interesting flavours to choose from, like roasted garlic, red pepper, jalapeño, dill, lemon, etc. Still, despite the available variety, there are some days I need something a little bit different.
Enter this dip. Dal is a curry dish often made with lentils, and is something I regularly order from Indian restaurants served hot with rice and naan on the side. I don’t profess to know how to make “real” dal, but this dip provides the same warm, satisfying curry flavours and is incredibly simple to make.
Red lentils are cooked until tender, then added to a mixture of onions, garlic, tomato paste and spices. A splash of cream at the end makes the dip creamy and smooth, and topped with some fresh cilantro (if that’s your thing) it makes an amazingly tasty and healthy snack. It can be served either hot, at room temperature, or cold, and I’ve chosen to pair it with some homemade naan chips. Crackers, pita chips, soft pita or vegetables would also work well. Enjoy and happy dipping!
- 1 cup dry red lentils
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used Madras)
- Half a can of tomato paste (5.5 oz)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ cup half-and-half (or plain yogurt, or coconut milk)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- Chopped cilantro, for serving (optional)
- Pita chips, naan chips, crackers, or vegetables, for serving
- In a small pot, cover the lentils with water, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes until the lentils are very soft. Drain and set aside.
- While the lentils cook, heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook for 1 minute, then add tomato paste, chili powder, sugar, salt and the cooked lentils and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cream (or yogurt) and cook, stirring constantly, until well-blended. Stir in garam masala.
- May be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. Sprinkle with cilantro (optional) and serve with pita chips, crackers or vegetables for dipping.
Source: Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Every Day