Hummus is a staple food in this house. My fridge feels naked without it, truth be told. And no, it’s not always a from-scratch gourmet situation. I’m not above grabbing a tub at the grocery store, particularly when I make the mistake of shopping while hungry. But when my stomach isn’t roaring and I have the gift of time and forethought, I prefer to make my hummus from scratch. And if I’m feeling adventurous, I like to fiddle with it quite a lot. Not all my hummus adventures are noteworthy. Some of them are noteworthy for less than positive reasons. But today’s Curried Red Lentil Hummus is a winner through and through. So let’s jump right in!
Grocery store coolers demonstrate the inherent versatility of hummus. There are roasted red pepper versions, tubs decked out in olive tapenade, and renditions flecked with blistered jalapeños. You can find a few different hummus recipes on this blog as well. But just because a dish can take on an endless variety of ingredients, doesn’t mean it always should. I still prefer a classic lemon-heavy hummus. But I also have the attention span of a gnat. So this Curried Red Lentil Hummus feeds my need for novelty but it also doesn’t feel forced. The less-than-traditional flavors and textures play nicely with the regular season cast.
Now, this hummus does take a little longer to make than ordinary hummus. Particularly if you’re more likely to make hummus using canned chickpeas. But if you’re like me and are content to soak your chickpeas the night before, you will barely notice the extra ten minutes or so. I do generally recommend making hummus with dried chickpeas, by the way. They really do improve the texture.
So this recipe starts by soaking half a cup of hummus in cold water overnight. Ordinarily, I soak a full cup, but we’re inviting red lentils to this party so we have to leave some room. The next morning, drain the chickpeas and set them aside. Now, here’s where things get a little different. Ordinarily, I would simmer the dried chickpeas in water and a little baking soda to break down the skins and add a whole garlic clove to the food processor when the chickpeas were ready to be blitzed.
Instead, we’re going to mince some garlic and ginger and saute the two in a large skillet before adding the chickpeas and red lentils to the pan. Then we’re going to add a tablespoon of curry powder and three cups of water. Bring the mixture up to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is mostly absorbed. You do have to let the mixture cool before proceeding, which can seem like another time hurdle. But you can also simmer everything the day before and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to blitz.
Once the chickpea/red lentil mixture is cool, transfer it to a food processor and add the usual hummus suspects. Tahini, lemon juice, a little extra salt, and I like a whisper of sesame oil. Blitz everything until smooth. You may have to add a little water if the hummus gets too thick. From there you can transfer it to a container and eat it for the next week or you can dress it up for guests by making a quick peanut chili oil.
The peanut chili oil pictured on this hummus is sort of a speedy, cheater’s version of Salsa Macha. It is by no means traditional but it is very tasty and incredibly simple to make. Basically, you just put sesame seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and coarsely crushed peanuts into a bowl and pour piping hot neutral oil over everything. The mixture will bubble like mad, but that is totally normal. And that’s really it! Your peanut chili oil is ready the moment the bowl is cool enough to handle.
To serve the Curried Red Lentil Hummus, pile it onto a plate and create a series of pleasing swoops with the back of your spoon before drizzling the hummus with the peanut chili oil. Serve the hummus immediately with pita, corn chips, and fresh veggies on the side for dipping.
That’s everything you need to know about this Curried Red Lentil Hummus. A fun, vibrant twist on a beloved classic that is sure to capture the attention and tastebuds of all your guests at your next fall fete.
Curried Red Lentil Hummus with Peanut Chili Oil
- 1 Large skillet
- 1 Food Processor
Curried Red Lentil Hummus
- ½ cup dried chickpeas
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- ⅔ cup red lentils
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 3 cups water
- 1½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tsp sesame oil
Peanut Chili Oil
- ⅓ cup roasted salted peanuts coarsely crushed **
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup neutral oil
For the Hummus
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover them with cold water. Set them aside to soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the chickpeas and set them aside.½ cup dried chickpeas
- Pour the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant.1 tbsp neutral oil, 1 clove garlic, 2 tbsp fresh ginger
- Pour the drained chickpeas and red lentils into the skillet. Add the curry powder, water, and salt and stir to combine. Bring the mixture up to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Take the mixture off of the heat and set it aside to cool.⅔ cup red lentils, 1 tbsp curry powder, 3 cups water, 1½ tsp salt
- Once the chickpea mixture is cool, transfer it to a food processor and add the tahini, lemon juice, and sesame oil. Blitz until very smooth. Add a little water if the hummus is too thick. ***¼ cup tahini, 1 lemon, 2 tsp sesame oil
- If not serving right away, transfer the hummus to a resealable container and store it in the fridge. The hummus will keep for one week. If serving, pile the hummus on a large plate and spread it using the back of a spoon. Drizzle with the Peanut Chili Oil (recipe below).
Peanut Chili Oil
- Place all the ingredients except the oil into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine⅓ cup roasted salted peanuts, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Pour the oil into a large skillet and heat to the point of smoking. Take the oil off of the heat and pour it over the peanut mixture. The oil will bubble like mad but don't worry. Set the oil aside to cool until lukewarm or room temperature before serving.⅓ cup neutral oil