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Spicy Red Lentil Hummus  

Once properly cooked, red lentils turn into a creamy thick purée all by themselves, so there is no need to blend.  

Red lentil hummus

SERVES 2-3 

  • 130g red lentils, washed and well drained  
  • 480ml hot water  
  • 4cm kombu seaweed (optional)  
  • 1 bay leaf  
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika, plus extra to garnish 
  • Quarter tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste  
  • Half tsp salt  
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed  
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard  
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste  
  • 2 tbsp olive oil  
  • 1 tbsp umeboshi vinegar (optional, for umami taste)  
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley  
  1. Place the well-drained lentils into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the hot water, kombu (if using) and bay leaf. Bring to the boil over a medium flame, then lower the heat, half cover and let simmer for 10 mins.  
  2. Stir and cook until all the lentils fall apart, forming a soft purée (do not add any extra water unless absolutely necessary; usually this 1:3 lentil to water ratio is just right). At the end of cooking, add the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.  
  3. Remove from the heat, add the garlic, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and umeboshi vinegar (if using). Mix well and let sit for at least 1 hour before serving – the purée will thicken and develop a nicer flavour. If you’re in a hurry, spread the hot purée on a baking sheet and let it cool for 20 mins. It should thicken and when well mixed have a hummus consistency.  
  4. Sprinkle with a little smoked paprika and freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley to garnish. Serve with red chicory, or endive leaves, broccoli and/or asparagus spears; in fact any other steamed or raw vegetables of your choice will work nicely.  

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West Country FOODLOVER is a print magazine and news based website offering a foodie’s guide of what’s hot across the South West. We inspire foodies with great seasonal recipes, competitions, news and events. The magazine, website and newsletter reach more than 128,000 foodies each issue.