Thursday, October 25, 2007

South Indian White Bean Dip

I’m leaving for the UK tonight, so I haven’t been eating proper food the past few days because of the necessary pre-vacation cleaning out of the fridge. (Although I have to admit that I have been enjoying my dinners of black bean and pepper jack cheese quesadillas.)
Here’s another dip I made for last month’s cocktail party. I was originally going to make a Tuscan-style white bean dip, but I decided against that because the rest of my menu was Asian/Indian. I got the idea for this from my mom; we were eating at one of my favorite Italian places in the 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 replaced with roasted urad dal and mustard seeds. And so I decided to turn that into a dip.

I won't be posting again until early November, so you're going to have to find some other way to entertain yourselves until then :) I highly recommend buying Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts and drooling over the photos of her amazing creations, and perhaps even trying to make something in there - it will definitely keep you busy!

South Indian White Bean Dip
(makes 3 cups)
2 cans cannelini beans
½ cup yogurt
* ½ teaspoon salt (add only if using beans without salt added)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon urad dal
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 small dried red Serrano chili (or 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)


  1. 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.
  2. In a small covered saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the urad dal and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Crush the chili pepper and add to the pan. Swirl the pan to gently roast the pepper.
  5. Pour the mixture into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
  6. Serve with pita chips or rice crackers.


Nabeela said...

Interesting twist on a traditional Italian dish!

John said...

Good luck! Looks yummy. BTW: Make sure you head for Wagamama. Man, I love their noodles!!! And it's a relatively cheap eat in a ridiculously expensive city.

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