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Bean and lentil onion dip.

October 25, 2008

Not everyone is a fan of refried beans (especially the canned kind), but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Dinner tonight was a smoky, warming combination of stir fried mushroom and radish top in garlic, with herbed roast veges and garam masala roast carrots and parsnips which were topped with this dip. Nice and sweet yet salty, it went over the carrots beautifully, but would be delicious with some cheese and crackers, or as a spread in a cheese sandwich. I’m thinking of using it as a base for burgers too.

Yes, it is vegan (for some reason it seems easier to reach for the lentils these days than cheese… which you can’t really eat on its own) too, so it makes a great addition to a selection of dips for a picnic which consists of cheese, crackers and dips. Tis the season for these things (except the end of today, which consisted of large quantities of cold and wind and rain).

Bean and lentil onion dip

(this recipe is a rough guide- will make enough for a small bowl. Lasts in the fridge until the next day at least)

Soak 1/2 c red lentils in water for 15 mins. While waiting, chop 1-2 onions roughly, and fry on medium heat in an oiled frypan. Let cook, stirring occasionally, to caramelise (will be about 20 mins). Heat 1c water to boiling in a small saucepan with 1 tsp salt and a bay leaf, throwing in lentils once soaked. Lower heat to medium low and let simmer until the lentils are a porridge consistency. Meanwhile, open a can of refried beans (or make your own. Refried beans are just pinto beans, cooked until soft in some salt, usually with spices etc but just use normal ones for this), scooping out 1/3 or 1/4 (depending how much you like them). Tend to the onions – once they’re golden and translucent, add 1 Tbs ground cumin, combining well. Turn off heat, and leave on the element. Once lentils are done, add 1-2 Tbs paprika, 1/4 c tomato paste, a sprinkle of mixed herb, 1 tsp garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and the cuminy onions, then turn off heat. Mix well to combine, then add beans and mix well to combine. Taste, and add salt if you find it a bit sour for your liking, paprika for sweet smokiness if lacking, and cumin for warmth.

Let cool and serve!

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