Imagine this for just a minute….
You’re sitting on the couch (or standing at the kitchen counter) watching Netflix (or playing phone games…. whatever, this is not the important part) and you have yourself a nice, nay a beautiful, plate of cheeses and crackers. With a glass of wine as the obligatory accompaniment this is all just so happening right now (you’ve also just started season 3 of Vikings which you have been waiting 11 months and 25 days for, the greatness of the situation cannot be placed into words…).
Life is so good. You’re content.
But what if you could be more content?
Yes, more content than sipping on wine, munching on beautiful cheeses (including that ultimately smelly block of blue you nabbed from the deli) and watching Netflix. Is that even possible?
Yes, because if there is wine, cheese and crackers, surely there must be dip. What is the point of have crackers/ biscuits without dip? And, with such amazing cheese, and such drink-me-now wine it can’t just be a plain, cliche-flavour dip. Nothing cheap or store bought either.
It has to have the dip wow factor.
So imagine you’re now getting up from your couch and fetching yourself a generous bowl of this curried lentil and roasted red pepper dip that you see in the photos before you.
Move aside cheese and wine…. there’s a new star in town!
I would like to say that this dip came about through a set of well planned, and extraordinarily executed, test recipes; through which each and every flavour was meticulously tweaked and refined until I had the king of dips scooped up with a delicious cracker (by the way, if you want to know: the crackers featured in today’s photos are my very own BBQ flavoured Spelt-flour crackers – a serious must try for any cracker aficionado)
But, alas no. it was not the result of meticulous planning and thorough recipe testing. It was, like so many things in my kitchen, the result of culinary chaos, a series of unexpected events, and good old forgetfulness.
It was a fluke, a mistake, a not-meant-to-happen sort of situation.
And yet, this mistake, this not-meant-to-happen sort of situation turned out to be delicious.
So, if anyone asks about that time in the kitchen I will solemnly swear that I meant to make this dip all along.
So this is how things went down on that fateful day…
James (that’s me!) decided to make an Indian-style, red lentil dhal. Nothing fancy, nothing too hard, just a simple curried lentil dhal that would serve as quick and easy lunch time meal for days at work.
James started the dhal making process and let the lentils simmer in water.
However, at the same time, James was also busy making several other recipes for the nude food hero blog; some recipes ready for a week of posting, and some just test recipes for future reference.
James had peppers roasting in the oven, plus a whole heap of other things happening in a very busy – and sometimes messy – kitchen. Despite the chaos and amounts of food being produced, things ran – sort of – smoothly. Until…
James had not quite measured the water/ lentil ratio for his dhal correctly. James also forgot about the pan of cooking lentils on the stove and let them sit and cook for an extra twenty minutes or so.
And so, when he finally realised (with the mandatory “oh sh*t!”) and rescued the pan of lentils from the fiery keep of the stove, he no longer had a quick and easy lunch time dhal for the week. Instead he had mushy lentil paste.
Although it wasn’t the right consistency, it certainly did taste good and, when James had some roasted red pepper left over from making his 5 minute red pepper sauce, he threw it together with the lentils on a whim and, just like that, the curried lentil and roasted red pepper dip was born.
Now James will stop talking about himself in the third person and we will get back to the rest of this post….
I must admit there is very little else I can say for now apart from YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS DIP (preferably with the BBQ spelt flour crackers that you see in the photos).
It’s very much a hands off preparation; it’s little more than letting things roast in the oven, and simmer on the stove top, allowing everything to cool before you blitz it up in your blender. If you want to be completely awesome, then you may want to try making your own curry powder (will take you no more than 5 minutes, I promise) but store bought curry powder will work just fine too!
But enough talking from me; that beautiful glass of wine, delectable cheeses, creating crackers and this awesome dip are waiting! Go eat!
Curried Lentil and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Prep Time: 15 mins || Cook Time: 30 mins
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 – 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 Cup of red lentils
- 1 Medium sized red pepper
- 1/4 cup + 2tbsp + 1tbsp of olive oil
- Preheat you oven to 200°C/ 390°F. Cut the red pepper in half and remove the core and seeds. Place the two halves on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until soft and with blackened edges. Allow to cool
- Meanwhile sauté the onions in a pan over medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil. When they become soft and translucent, add the garlic and ginger and stir a few times. Add the curry powder and stir for a minute or until fragrant. Add the red lentils and stir to coat evenly with the onion and curry powder mixture. Add two cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Allow to cool.
- Place the curried lentils and roasted red pepper together in your food processor/ blender and blitz until a thick smooth paste-like consistency has been formed, adding 1/4 cup of olive oil if too thick.
- Serve with your favourite crackers/ biscuits and cheese. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week