Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Garlicky Red Lentil Dal and Homemade Whole Wheat Garlic Pita Chips

This is hands down, the best dip I have ever tasted, made, inhaled, smelled, looked at, dreamed about or seen. It is unbelievable. I wasn't expecting anything spectacular when I made this. I had just about a cup of red lentils left in the pantry and I had done soups, wraps, and burgers, so I just searched red lentils at and found this recipe. It sounded interesting and I had the lentils ready to go, so I mixed it up.
Amazing! The spices, the flavor, the texture- I know that I rave about a lot of things but this was delicious and I wasn't the only one who thought so. Even the very picky kids that turn their noses up at everything I make when they come over to play with my kids, gobbled it down. oh and the pita chips too.
Do what you have to. Find red lentils. Make this dip.
I would've like to spread this on some flatbread and make a wrap, but you guessed it- There wasn't any left. I am making this again soon. I just have to make a trip to a Health Food Store and stock up on my yummy lentils.

Garlicky Red Lentil Dal adapted from Cooking Light
This dip tastes best at room temperature.
1 cup dried small red lentils
2 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, divided (I added 1 heaping tsp of ground cumin to the other spices)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika (I used normal paprika)
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato (I used plain, diced tomatoes from a can)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint ( I omitted this garnish on top)
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; discard bay leaf. Place lentils in a small bowl.
Combine 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, salt, turmeric, paprika, and red pepper in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in spice mixture, tomato, and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove pan from heat; stir in lentils, lemon juice, and black pepper. Place lentil mixture in a food processor; process until smooth.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat, and add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds. Sauté seeds for 15 seconds, and drizzle over dal. Sprinkle with fresh mint.

Whole Wheat Garlic Pita Chips by Mary Ann
2 whole wheat pitas, divided in half- make two sides by opening the pocket
cooking spray
garlic sea salt grinder
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut or tear your pitas into triangles or pieces. Arrange them on a baking sheet. Coat pita pieces with cooking spray and season with garlic sea salt grinder. Toast in oven for 7-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.

Coming Tomorrow- Barefoot Bloggers- Easy Sticky Buns and Craving Ellie- Chicken Caccitore


Jenny said...

Wow, I've never had anything like this dip, but boy it looks great! Love pita chips too!

Maria said...

This sounds like the perfect dip! Maybe I will make it for the Super Bowl. I love pita chips too!

Sara said...

This looks delicious. I love lentils, I make dals as a main course over rice sometimes.

Azure said...

Oh, yeah! I am excited to try this.

Anonymous said...

Wow. We must be on the same wavelength. I just bought red lentils for a Indian inspired lentil and rice dish with with homemade spicey pita chips.

Cathy said...

You don't have to tell me twice!!! Sometimes I like to make a few different appetizers for dinner (actually, if it were up to me I'd do that every night), and this dip is most definitely on the list for next time I do that!

The Blonde Duck said...

I can't wait for the easy sticky buns! Yum!

Unknown said...

This sounds and looks great! I also can't wait for chicken caccitori. I know I am crazy, but I look at this recipe in cooks illustrated all the time, but I just never take the plunge. I am curious to see if you love it or not... that might just give me the push to make it!!

The Food Librarian said...

Mum! This looks so yummy!

Prudy said...

You clever girl you. Now I'm pining for those red lentils more than ever. I'm going to have to convince the next rambling guest from a big city to bring me a big bag. This looks heavenly!

Aggie said...

ok, believe it or not, but this morning I woke up craving red! I am thinking of making soup, but I also want to make this dip too now!!! Looks great! And I love your homemade chips.

Anonymous said...

This sounds and looks really good. I will have to try this one.

Pamela said...

It looks so good and you've made it sound AMAZING. I guess I am going to have to give it a try!

dharmagirl said...

yum! thanks for sharing! i keep buying red lentils and making a variety of soups, so this will be a perfect diversion.

Steph said...

I love any kind of bean dip! I havne't had lentils since high school and it wasn't a good experience, but I'm sure it's delicious in dip form!

Audrey and the Boys said...

I'm so glad to see this recipe because I finally have some red lentils. I was going to make your red lentil soup, but I think I might try this instead.