Welcome to the world of lentils, my friends! Lentils are packed full of protein, and are an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in so many delicious dishes. Here’s a beginner’s guide to cooking lentils, with all the tips and tricks you need to make the perfect meal.
Soaking and Rinsing
Before you start cooking lentils, you’ll need to soak and rinse them. This will help to remove any dirt and impurities from the lentils, and will also help them to cook more evenly. To soak the lentils, simply put them in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight if possible. When the lentils are done soaking, drain the water and rinse the lentils with fresh water.
Cooking The Lentils
Once you’ve soaked and rinsed the lentils, it’s time to cook them! The cooking time for lentils will vary depending on the type of lentil you’re using, so be sure to check the packaging for instructions. Generally speaking, the cooking time will range from 15 to 20 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, be sure to stir them occasionally to make sure that they’re cooking evenly. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the water level, as the lentils will absorb some of the water as they cook. If the water level gets too low, you can add more water to the pot.
When the lentils are finished cooking, drain any remaining water and let them cool before serving. The cooked lentils can then be used in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, salads, and more.
Types of Lentils
There are many different types of lentils available, and each type has its own unique flavor and texture. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular types of lentils:
Green lentils are the classic type of lentil, and they have a mild flavor and a firm texture. They are great for soups, stews, curries, and salads.
Yellow lentils are smaller than green lentils, and they have a nutty flavor. They are perfect for dishes such as dal and curries.
Red lentils have a sweet, nutty flavor and a creamy texture. They are best used in dishes such as hummus, soups, and stews.
Black lentils have a slightly sweet flavor and a firm texture. They are great for salads and as a side dish.
How to Store Lentils
Once you’ve cooked your lentils, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Lentils can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Just be sure to let them cool completely before storing them in the freezer.
A Few Lentil Recipe Ideas
Now that you know how to cook and store your lentils, here are a few easy recipes to get you started.
This classic lentil soup is easy to make and packed with flavor. All you need is some cooked lentils, a few vegetables, and some spices. Simmer everything together until it’s nice and thick, and serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
This simple salad is a great way to use up any leftover cooked lentils. Just mix together cooked lentils, diced vegetables, and a vinaigrette dressing. Serve the salad with some crusty bread and you’re good to go.
For a delicious plant-based meal, try making some lentil burgers! All you need to do is mix together cooked lentils, some diced vegetables, and some breadcrumbs. Form the mixture into patties, fry until crispy, and serve with your favorite toppings.
So there you have it, a beginner’s guide to cooking lentils! With these tips and recipes, you’ll be able to make delicious lentil dishes in no time. Now put on your apron and get cooking!
As the famous song goes, “lentils, lentils, they’ll be so delicious!”