Monday, February 7, 2011

Curried Lentil Dip

While searching for something meat-free to take to a Super Bowl party, I came across this recipe. Food52 is one of my new go-to sites for interesting recipes, and this one was no exception. This dip is simple and yet complex, with the warmth and richness of cinnamon and curry mixed with the humble lentil. Because I happened to be out of veggie stock, I threw in some sliced carrots and slivered leeks with the onion and garlic for added flavor. The carrot also provided nice little pops of color in the finished dip. I also used parsley in place of cilantro, and the dip was still delicious!

This recipe makes quite a lot of dip – 5 people put a decent dent in it, but there are still plenty of leftovers. You could also serve as an entrée when served over rice.

Curried Lentil Dip

Adapted from

Serves 6 to 8

1 can of coconut milk

1 ½ cup dried red lentils (rinsed)

1 onion, large, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 small leeks, rinsed and sliced


1 tablespoon dried fresh ginger

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon each ground cumin, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper

2 teaspoons garam masala (or other – I used Muchi) curry powder

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-3 Bay Leaves

3 tablespoons parsley (fresh), chopped

Place can of coconut milk in freezer 20 minutes before starting to cook. Open can and remove solidified coconut butter from the top to use in sautéing. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk.

In a sieve rinse lentils and drain.

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan cook onion, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt in 2 tablespoons coconut milk fat over moderate heat, stirring, until golden.

Add ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add lentils, coconut milk, 3 cups water and gently boil, uncovered, until lentils fall apart, about 20 minutes.

While lentils are cooking, take a small heavy skillet and heat the olive oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook cumin, stirring, until a shade darker, about 30 seconds.

Add curry powder and other remaining spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Stir hot spice oil into lentils.

Let curry stand, covered, 5 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir in cilantro and add salt to taste.

Serve with either Sweet Potato Chips or over rice as a side dish.


~ e

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