1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. mirin (rice wine)
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. light miso (Japanese bean paste)
1/2 cup salted pistachio nuts, toasted
1/2 tsp. salt
• Put the lentils in a saucepan with the water and bay leaf and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are very soft and most of the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Discard the bay leaf. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
• While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
• Turn down the heat to low and cook the onion for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the onion starts to stick, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. water (or cooking sherry, if you have it) and stir to remove any bits of onion from the bottom of the pan. When done, the onion should be various shades of brown, soft, and sweet.
• Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the mirin and curry powder, mixing well. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
• Put the lentils, the onion mixture, and the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill before serving.
• Serve with a basket of pappadams, pita wedges, or crackers.
Makes 2 cups