Saturday, May 8, 2010

Curried Lentil Dip for Erin's 30th

Last night we celebrated Erin's 30th birthday at the new house. We grilled veggie burgers and hot dogs, drank beer, sat in the breezy backyard and mingled with the folks at the kegger next door. I finally got the chance to make this dip from perhaps my favorite cookbook of all time, Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. I've been intrigued by the ingredient list, as well as the headnote for the recipe:

Looking for something unusual for a party or a potluck dinner? When this dip is one of the choices, it’s almost always gone long before the cheese dips are even half eaten.

How can I resist that? And it proved true! People really enjoyed the dip, and were into the exotic, not-quite-hummus flavor.

Curried Lentil Dip from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

1 cup red lentils
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onions
1 1/2 cups peeled, cored, and diced apples
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the lentils and water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft and most of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onions, apples, and garlic with a dash of salt for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the raisins, curry powder, and the garam masala, if using, and continue to sauté for 10 minutes, until tender.

In a food processor or blender, pureé the cooked lentils and sautéed onion mix with the coconut milk and lemon juice.

Add the salt and adjust to taste. Serve at room temp or chilled.

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