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.
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
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.
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.