This dip tastes best at room temperature. If you can't find red lentils, use brown or green instead.
1 cup dried small red lentils
2 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
How to Make It
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; discard bay leaf. Place lentils in a small bowl.
Combine 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, salt, turmeric, paprika, and red pepper in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in spice mixture, tomato, and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove pan from heat; stir in lentils, lemon juice, and black pepper. Place lentil mixture in a food processor; process until smooth.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat, and add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds. Sauté seeds for 15 seconds, and drizzle over dal. Sprinkle with fresh mint.