Lentil Coconut Dhal

We have a finger food potluck tomorrow at my church, so I picked up some sesame pita from the new N. Raleigh Neomonde (so happy to have a Neomonde location close to my house!!).  I had seen a recipe for a lemon and coconut-flavored lentil dhal that I wanted to try, and I think this will make a nice pita dip.

Spicy Lentil Coconut Dhal
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

Saute all of the above together in about 2 Tbsp. canola oil over medium heat until onion is translucent but not browned.

1 1/3 c. red lentils
2 c. water
1 Tbsp. red curry paste (cut back on this for a less spicy dish)
1 c. coconut cream

Add lentils, water and curry paste. Stir well, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Lentils should be just tender. Add coconut cream and stir, continue to simmer another 15 minutes until mixture is thick.

1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1/3 c. sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, cilantro and almonds. Reserve a few almonds and pieces of cilantro for garnish. You can also garnish with a drizzle of coconut cream. Serve as a dip or spread with bread or pita, or as a side dish. Serve warm or at room temp.

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