Since this was the first time I made this spicy red lentil dip recipe and I was making it for guests, I did not want to overdo the spice.  The flavor was great but next time I will use hot harissa not the mild version.  I did some research and the data suggests that lentils are a very good food for you.  This link is from the non-profit whfoods.org.  Here is an older post credited to Dr. Oz that also says red lentils, specifically, are a very good food for anti-aging.

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Ingredients (adapted from Fine Cooking):

  • 2 cup red lentils
  • 2 bay leaf
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1/2 of a freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 – 3 tbsp harissa
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

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Rinse the lentils with cold water and drain.  Combine the lentils, bay leaf, and  salt in a medium saucepan.  Add enough water to cover by a few inches and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the lentils are tender and falling apart, about 10 minutes.  Drain the lentils in a fine-mesh sieve.  Discard the bay leaf and let the lentils cool for 10 – 20 minutes in the sieve.

Transfer the lentils to a food processor and add the squeezed lemon, lemon juice, tomato paste, garlic, cilantro, harissa, cumin, and olive oil.  Blend until reasonably blended.  I like my dips a little more rustic so I do not over mix them.  Remember, to stop once or twice during the mixing to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

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Check for seasoning and transfer it to a serving bowl.  The dip is better if you let it sit for a while before eating.  I made my dip a day ahead of time.  I served the dip with oven baked pita chips.

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Enjoy!