Most kids love dipping their food. I’ve heard parents say how their kid will eat anything if they can dip it ketchup or salad dressing. Oddly my oldest son has never enjoyed dipping his food, even as a toddler. I don’t know why but he always wanted to eat his veggies without ranch sauce, fries without ketchup, or sushi without soy sauce. He’s always opted out of dips until recently when I persistently encouraged him to dip veggies into a chickpea hummus. I wanted to bulk up his snacks with more protein and calories. Since dipping his veggies has finally caught on, I’ve been thinking up ways to make healthy and nutrient filled dips. This dip is is more like a hummus except red lentils are used as the base instead of chickpeas.
The caramelized onions give it a fancier twist and creates a delicious flavour for dipping or spreading, depending on how you use the recipe. It’s a perfect dip to make ahead of time and the caramelized onion flavour comes through stronger after it sits overnight in the fridge.
Make a spicy version by stirring in some franks hot sauce, cayenne powder, chill powder, or crushed red peppers. I serve it cold but warm it up and serve it hot if desired. Add some fresh parsley finely chopped or other herbs you have on hand. Use this as a base and get creative with add ins. Or simply enjoy it as is. Tonight I mixed up a batch of Sandhya’s Pakora Patties and used this dip with them. So good!
- 1 cup Red Lentils, uncooked
- 2 cups Water
- ½ tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 large Onion, sliced
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Tahini
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Paprika
- Sea Salt and pepper, to taste
- Put rinsed lentils and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer, cook for 10-15 minutes until fully cooked. Set aside to cool.
- Put coconut oil in pan and melt on medium low heat. Add sliced onions and cook until translucent.
- Add sea salt and continuing cooking on medium low heat for 20-30 minutes, until onions are turning a golden brown and are caramelizing. Make sure to stir often so they don’t burn. Add a few drops of water if pan is drying out. The key to caramelized onions is low and slow. Low heat, slow cook.
- Once the onions are ready, turn off the burner and add the minced garlic to the pan. Stir for a minute until fragrant, do not burn!
- Remove mixture from pan and chop up the onion mixture to smaller pieces, then add to a medium bowl.
- Add the cooked red lentils, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, and paprika to the bowl. Stir well until throughly mixed.
- Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon into sealable container and chill in fridge until ready to serve. This dip can be made in advance and served with crackers and veggies.