A cross-cultural twist on everyday hummus — roasted garlic, fresh lemon juice, deeply rich yellow miso and earthy bright turmeric powder pureed with tahini + sweet and mild chana dal.
When the temperatures are low and the winds are biting I crave all things warm and exotic from the kitchen. Consistently better weather, minus spring tornado season, is just moments away, but while we wait, bring on the spicy complexity of North African and Middle Eastern flavors and foods.
Smoked paprika and Ethiopian berbere — a mix of spices that includes dried red chiles de árbol and a slew of aromatics — steal the show here, with red onion, garlic, spicy fresh ginger and rich sun-dried tomatoes rounding out the earthy black lentils. A splash of balsamic vinegar swirled in at the end as a subtle but bright touch bringing everything together.
The vast majority of Indian recipes involve lengthy lists of dried spices, fresh and dried herbs, and other flavor-building bases. These are intense and delicious. Then there are those others, relying on elegant simplicity that, despite employing only a few ingredients, are still complex and immensely satisfying.
Today’s is one of those more simplistic recipes, in time for lighter fare desired for warmer afternoons and evenings. The ingredients can be varied for enjoyment any day of the year, though, and you’ll see some of my recommendations below.