Lentil Phyllo Cups

“As kids we heard, our parents always say

Have your greens and lentils, or the ghost will take you away,
We laugh at it now, years later from it all
Wondering why we ever believed, the story so tall,
For lentils once considered, far from the food we crave
Is now to me a treat divine, and quite a party save,
Colorful and versatile, ever a quick dish to prepare
Dressed & disguised the right way, it’s far from a nightmare,
So the tales have now turned, there are no false scares
And the kids eat it all up, so the ghost can’t have their share!”

1 cup dried small red or green lentils (or leftover lentils in your fridge!)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 small tomato, diced
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper or paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
12 frozen filo pastry shell, baked/thawed as per instruction
Indian Aloo Bhujia (optional - for garnish only)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil the lentils with the bay leaves in 2-3 cups of water, till tender. Keep aside and cool. Do not drain and of the liquid.
Heat oil in a pan. Add onion, garlic, cumin seeds and nuts. Saute for 5 minutes or until nuts are lightly browned. Stir in the tomato and all the dry spices and cook till tomatoes are tender. Stir in boiled lentils. Cook on medium flame till the flavors are fused and most of the liquid from the lentils has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Put 1 teaspoon of the lentil dip in each filo pastry, top with some Aloo Bhujia (for the crunch) and serve! Mmmmm...