In fine-mesh sieve, rinse lentils, removing any tiny stones and possible debris. In large saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add rinsed lentils and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until lentils are soft and creamy. Drain off liquid into a bowl and reserve a bit for later. Slightly cool lentils.
In high-speed blender, place cooked lentils and garlic along with lemon juice, tahini, sesame oil, miso, and seasonings. Whirl until smooth. Add a splash of lentil cooking water (if needed).
Transfer dip to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. If not serving right away, cover for longer storage. Can be refrigerated for several days
To serve, drizzle with chili oil and fresh cilantro (if using). Serve with cut-up fresh veggies and toasted pita.
Per 1/4 cup serving: 114 calories; 7 g protein; 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat); 16 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 8 g fiber); 10 mg sodium