Author Notes: I got the idea for this from my mom; we were eating at one of my favorite Italian places in NYC's East Village and were served a bowl of whole white beans in oil with red pepper flakes, parsley, and garlic along with our bread. Apparently a similar dish is common in South India, except the garlic and parsley are swapped out for roasted urad dal and mustard seeds - standard seasonings in South Indian cuisine. And so I decided to turn that into a dip for a cocktail party I had some time ago. To my pleasant surprise, it was a hit. And so a dip was born.
Makes 3 cups
- 3 cups cannelini beans (or 2 15 oz cans)
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon urad dal
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 dried red chili (or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (only if using unsalted beans)
- Drain and rinse the beans. Add to the bowl of a food processor along with the yogurt (and salt, if using) and process until very smooth.
- In a small covered saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the urad dal and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan. The seeds will start to pop after about 30 seconds. Let the seeds pop for another 5 seconds and then remove the pan from the heat.
- Crush the chili pepper and add to the pan. Swirl the pan to gently roast the pepper.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Dip can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; bring to room temperature (or heat on low power in the microwave) before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dip