How to cook lentils perfectly? Lentils are versatile to cook and healthy to eat. Hence, most of us love to include them in our diet. You either stovetop or pressure cook, it always taste great. But the taste under both cooking techniques is undoubtedly different.
It may be surprising for you that if you know how to cook rice, cooking lentils will not be a big deal for you. Hence, if you are planning to cook lentils, here are few things which you must know: How to cook lentils perfectly?
How to Cook Lentils From a Can
1 – Prefer old lentils over new
The cheap quality lentils may go easy on your pocket but not with your cooking. These old lentils hardly turn soft and do not bear excellent taste. Hence, they prefer to buy the freshest lentils by counting on the bulk bins. These lentils have higher turnover and expected to be fresh than the lentils packed in bags and lying over for a longer time on the shelves.
2 – Sift the lentils before cooking
It is essential to sift the lentils before cooking to remove any pebbles. The presence of stones in lentils may break your tooth if it comes under the tooth while biting. So give a good rinse to the lentils atlas 3-4 times before cooking to remove all the debris or any other unwanted substance like pebbles.
3 – Add flavours to water
Lentils can easily take up any character you add to them while cooking. Hence, if you will not add any flavour, lentils will turn out to be bland. Therefore, to make delicious lentils, add aromatic flavours to water. You can use vegetable or chicken stock to make its taste better. You can use spices such as cloves and bay leaf to enhance their flavour.
4 – Avoid rapid cooking at high flame
Cooking lentils at high flame splits the lentils from their cover and results in mushy lentils. Lentils are tasty if cooked perfectly. While undercooked lentils are difficult to chew and digest, overcooked lentils lose their taste.
5 – Avoid adding salt at the early stages
On adding any acidic product like lemon or vinegar or salt while cooking the lentils will not let the lentils get tender to its fullest. Boil the lentil first and allow it to reach the required tenderness. Then add salt and another acidic element. Add them in warm lentils to let it absorb the flavours.
What Are The Various Types Of Lentils?
There are several kinds of lentils you can find in the market. We are listing some common types of lentils which are frequently used across the world:
Red lentils: They are sweeter in flavour and can be tender up to make a puree. These are appropriate for making soups and often available split.
Green lentils: They are perfect for side dishes and salads. They turn into medium to firm texture and comes with a slightly peppery taste.
Black lentils: These lentils hold their shape and come with earthy flavours. They are shiny and tiny in appearance.
Brown Lentils: These are the versatile lentils which are used for many recipes. They have mild earthy flavours and are readily available in the market.
French Gren Lentils: These lentils are similar to green lentils with a slight difference of firmer texture. They are widely grown in France.
What Types Of Lentils Are Appropriate For Weekday Meals?
Brown and green lentils are best for weekday meals as these are quick to make and does not require much effort. Orange, yellow and red lentils are best for the sauces and soups as they quickly turn mushy. So, if you wish to eat lentils, prefer to count upon brown and green ones. And if you want to try out a quick lentil soup, the rest in the league are best to consider.
How to use boiled lentils with variations?
Once boiled to the tenderness, the lentils are ready to try out with your culinary expertise. You can add them to your grain or green salads. You can also use it in your sandwiches wraps and veggie burgers and enjoy a delicious meal by adding a poached egg to the lentils tossed with vinegar and 20 olive oil. Lentils can be used in soups as well.
What is The Right Way Of Cooking Lentils?
Below are the steps that need to be followed to cook lentils perfectly:
- Take lentils with the proper measurement, say 1 cup.
- Rinse thoroughly under the old water to remove debris and other unwanted substances
- Take a medium pot and add lentils to it after draining all the water
- Add 2-1/2 to 3 cups of water to it
- To enhance flavours, you can add vegetable or chicken stock instead of water
- Add a pinch of salt to avoid it turn mushy
- Keep the flames high till the pot receives its first boil
- Turn the flame on low and let it simmer till it gets softer
- It takes approximately 20 minutes to turn the lentils softer
- Strain out any extra liquid once the lentils turn tender
Add required salt, pepper, olive oil, paprika, and bold cumin as per the taste and preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I store the cooked lentils?
Yes, you can refrigerate the lentils up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Do you have to soak lentils before cooking them?
If you want to cook lentils quickly, then you can soak it overnight or for a few hours before the cooking time. To reduce the cooking time and save on fuel, the practice of soaking lentils is followed. It is essential to wash lentils thoroughly before cooking to remove debris from it. Rinse it preferably in cold water and shrivelled them.
How Do You Cook Lentils Quickly?
Soaking lentils overnight can help in reducing the cooking time by 50%. You should take almost three times of water in the number of lentils you want to cook. When the lentils come to a boil, cook it on the slow flame. For whole lentils, it generally takes 15-20 minutes while others are ready within 5-10 minutes.
How much does 1 cup of lentils make?
One cup of lentils makes 2 ½ -3 cups cooked lentils.
How do you cook lentils, so they are not mushy?
The mushy lentils arise due to the splitting of their skins. Hence avoid simmering of lentils and cook it on a gentle simmer. Once the pot gets to its first rapid simmer, you should reduce the flames to low so that there would be no bubbles.
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