Curried lentil dip made by infusing Indian spices into ginger, garlic, chili peppers and tomatoes, and blending together with tender red lentils and coconut oil. The result is a hummus-style dip that tastes like a samosa and can be served warm or cold!
You all know that I’m crazy about samosas. That shatter-crisp fried pastry shell and spiced potato filling make me weak in the knees. I’m on a continual pursuit to recreate samosa flavors in healthier forms like samosa soup or samosa wraps.
This curried lentil dip is the latest iteration. I took that delicious seasoning from samosas and blended it with coconut oil and red lentils to make a spicy vegan lentil dip.
The whole recipe is very easy and comes together with a few simple steps. Red lentils are one of the many things that I cook in my rice cooker for ease and convenience. (Just be sure to rinse the lentils well before cooking and clean the rice cooker right away afterward; leftover lentil residue is not a pleasant thing.)
You have some flexibility for what add-ins to stir into the dip. Fresh cilantro and/or green onions are both wonderful additions. Chopped almonds, dried fruit like currants or raisins, or a drizzle of chili oil would be nice with this too. Enjoy!
Curried Lentil Dip
Easy, spicy curried lentil dip made with red lentils and Indian samosa-inspired spices. Naturally gluten-free and vegan recipe.
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked red lentils (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 and 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 and 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (330 grams)
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
Cook the red lentils if you are starting from dry lentils and haven't cooked them yet.
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet (preferably nonstick). Add the coriander seeds and cook just until starting to turn golden, about 45 seconds. Add the ginger, garlic and jalapeno, and cook for another 60 seconds until slightly softened. Add the ground cumin, cayenne, garam masala, and turmeric, and cook for 30 seconds more until fragrant.
Stir in the salt and diced tomatoes, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are starting to break down and release their juices, about 10 minutes. (I use this time to prep the cilantro and scallions, and clean up from cooking the lentils).
Add the lentils to a food processor. Use a spatula to add the spice and tomato mixture, including all of the oil in the pan. Blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice and blend. Season to taste with additional salt and lemon.
Remove the mixture from the food processor. Stir in the fresh cilantro and scallions. Serve warm or chilled! Leftovers will keep in the fridge for about a week.
To substitute ground coriander for the whole seeds, use 1 teaspoon ground and add it with the other ground spices.
To make the dip more spicy, add ground cayenne to taste along with the other ground spices.