As the days get warmer, one of the most comforting things to do is to pull out a cool and creamy dip from the fridge and dunk some toasty bread in it. For such an occasion, it doesn’t get any better than this smoky aubergine and hearty lentil dip. It only keeps getting richer in flavor as it chills. This recipe is also great for parties or special events, as you can make it up to a day in advance and forget about it. Summer, my friends, is already off to a good start!
P.S. If you give this recipe a try, I would love for you to share it with me on social media. Tag #hanadykitchen on Instagram so that I can see your creations! I love connecting and seeing the dishes you’re making. 🙂
Lots of love,
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4 AS A STARTER
1 cup small green lentils, thoroughly rinsed and soaked in water overnight*
1 vegetable stock cube or 4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large eggplant/ aubergine (about 550 gr.)
1-2 cloves garlic, to your taste
juice of 1/2 a large lemon, about 4 tablespoons
pinch chili flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt, to your taste
3 tablespoon tahini paste
1. Bring 4 cups of water or vegetable stock to a boil. Stir in vegetable stock cube (if using) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the green lentils and cook over medium-high heat for around 30 minutes or until tender while stirring occasionally. Any liquid in the pot should be absorbed.
2. In the meantime, wrap the aubergine/eggplant in aluminum foil and place directly over a high fire on the stove. Cook for about 25-30 minutes while rotating every 3 minutes or so. Carefully remove from the heat and place onto a plate to cool. Peel off all its burnt skin and place the flesh in a food processor.
3. Add the cooked lentils (except for 2-3 tablespoons for garnish) to the food processor with the aubergine flesh. Then add 1 clove of garlic (or 2, to taste), juice of 1/2 a lemon, chili flakes, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, about 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons tahini paste. Pulse all of the ingredients together to create a creamy and thick dip. Scoop out onto a serving platter, spread with the bottom of a spoon, chill for a few hours or more, and top with olive oil, zaa’tar, leftover lentils, and your choice of toppings. Serve as a starter with your choice of toasted pita, pita chips, crisped tortillas, etc. Enjoy!
*It’s always a good idea to let legumes such as lentils soak overnight as they become easier to digest afterwards. However, if you’re preparing this dip in a rush, this step is optional.
** Feel free to add plain or greek yogurt to the dip after it has blended for an even creamier consistency.