Many of us prefer to have lunches that mainly include other plant products. This way, we make our food nutritionally balanced and maintain our body’s nutritional composition. So let’s check out everything about on How to Cook Lentils guide. This is where the Lentils, an edible legume, perform their role in our diet. Cuisines of the Indian and Middle Eastern Subcontinent comprise Lentils as their staple food, often known as ‘Pulses or Daal’ and mostly eaten with Rice or  Bread. Before it’s too late and your stomach starts growling for tasty foods, let’s look at simple methods of How To Cook Lentils.

How to cook lentils

Lentil is an annual plant known for its lean-shaped seeds, whose seeds grow in pods, ‘with mainly two seeds in each of them.’

Lentils: History + Nutritional Benefits

Lentils are believed to originate from the Near East or Mediterranean area and were the oldest crop known to man. Lentils were our ancestors’ primary source of sustenance and are one of the earliest domesticated intakes. Canada is the largest producer and supplier in the world, followed by India, where lentils have been eaten as a staple food since ancient times.

Talking about the nutritional profile of lentils, they are highly proteinous multivitamin grains, making them one of the most preferred choices for vegans. Not only this, but Lentils also contain Carbohydrates, Vitamins – “B6, B12, C, D, E, K”, Fats & Minerals like Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, etc. Lentils are super versatile and part of many delicious recipes with yummy variations.

Before knowing ‘How to cook lentils,’ you should get acquainted with some of the most famous recipes for lentils around the world. Then, with little creativity and interest, you could make your recipes; however, for the initial hint, you should know the basic steps on How to Cook Lentils; you could start by cooking the famous lentil recipes described with the whole method in the later part!

How to cook lentils

How to Cook Lentils: Basic Steps (Common for Each Recipe) + Tips

The basic How to Cook Lentils steps (common to each recipe) will help you on learning How to Cook Lentils in the best possible way.

Clear Out the Dirt:

Before cooking your favourite lentil dish, it is essential to clean them. There are several ways; one of the most simple is to rinse your Lentils in a strainer under running water. Then pick out the undesirable stones, debris, etc.

Add Water:

Water is essential as it would make lentils soft and ready to be blended into any recipe. As an average quantity, Lentils need 2 cups of water for every single cup.

Start Cooking:

After following the above two processes, the most awaited step is cooking. First, drain the water through a strainer and take about 1/2 cup of fresh water for every cup of lentils in a broiler, kiln, or whatever you use to boil. Next, mix all water-soaked Lentils, reduce the flame to low, and cook it for 20 to 30 minutes.

**NOTE: If you make sprouts sandwich/salad or any recipe using lentils after germination,
you can skip the last How to Cook Lentils step if you prefer raw lentils.

Lentils Recipe: Vegan + Non-Vegan

The recipe for Lentils is quite simple. Usually, there are two main ways – the first is perfect for “Vegans,” and the other is for “Non-Vegetarians.”

Ingredients Needed for Vegan Style of Lentils:

  • Lentils (whichever you are cooking) – 1 Cup
  • Water – 3-4 Cups
  • Tomatoes – 1-2 Properly Chopped
  • Coriander – 4-5 Leaves or Corriander Powder – 1 Tablespoon
  • Min Leaves (Chopped) – 2 Springs
  • Clarified Butter or any other type of oil like Olive Oil (for spatula) – 2-3 Tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1 Tablespoon
  • Chilli powder – 1 Tablespoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1-1½ Tablespoon
  • Salt – 1 Tablespoon
  • You can also add other vegetables (if you want) like – Onions, Spinach, etc. (but be sure that it is adequately chopped.)
  • A large saucepan

How to cook Lentils

Instructions on How to Cook Lentils:

Step 1 – Cook on the stove; put 3-4 cups of water in the saucepan (always see that the size of your saucepan should be large enough as Lentils will double or triple themselves). Now put 1 cup of Lentils in the saucepan.

Step 2 – Boil the Lentils at mid-heat, cover the lid of the saucepan tightly and let them simmer till they are tender. 

Step 3 – For whole Lentils, it takes around 15- 20 minutes (There are different boiling times for different types of Lentils, so see the time before you cook; for example- Red Lentils take just around 6-7 minutes to cook.)

Step 4 – After checking that the Lentils are appropriately tendered, add the Tomatoes & Coriander leaves into the saucepan or any other vegetables you want to add.

Step 5 – Tender all the vegetables at mid-heat of the burner and check continuously as they shouldn’t be tenderized too much.

Step 6 – Now it’s time for the spatula. First, take a large spatula and put 2-3 tablespoons of oil in it; after that, put the spatula on another burner, put cumin seeds and chilli powder, and wait for just 1 min (Tip: do not head the spatula more than 1 min otherwise it will turn dark black which will make the taste of Lentils disgusting).

Step 7 – Put the spatula into the saucepan containing Lentils, and as soon as you drop the spatula, spoon cover the lid.

Step 8 – Mix the Lentils well with a long spoon.

Now your lentils are ready to be eaten. But first, you can squeeze lemon over the Lentils for more taste.

**NOTE: If you add lentil powder, you do not have to add the extra spatula to your recipe.
But if you want to taste & eat authentic Indian Style Lentils,
then I will not recommend adding Lentils powder as added spatula taste is irreplaceable & splendid.

Now let’s look at another recipe for Lentils, a Non-Vegetarian style.

Additional Ingredients Needed for Non-Vegan Lentils Recipe:

  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 Cup
  • Bine-In Meat – 1 ½ lb. or 722 grams
  • Split Chickpea Lentils – 1 ½ Cup
  • Cilantro Leaves (Chopped) – 2 Springs
  • Mint Leaves (Chopped) – 2 Springs

Some Important Tips to Consider Before You Start Cooking:

  1. Pre-Fry Onions, two finely sliced onions of medium size, and fry them until they are reddish-brown.
  2. You can also use Red Lentils or Yellow Mung Lentils with the Lentils you are already cooking. Adjust the quantity, such as ¼ Red Lentils or ¼ Mung Lentils. Before cooking, soak them in water for at least 1 hour.
  3. A ginger paste can be bought from any store nearby. Or, if you want to make a fresh paste, add equal quantities of finely peeled ginger and blend them; pour a 1/4 cup of water and mix until it converts into a puree.

Instructions for Non-Vegan Lentils:

Step 1 – Switch on the burner of the stove and saute. Add cooking oil, all the fried onions, ginger-garlic paste, finely chopped tomatoes, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, & coriander powder. After all, this, add at least 1 cup of water and cook them all for 5-6 minutes.

Step 2 – Add the meat, Lentils, and 1 cup of water and mix them well. Cover the lid to prevent any splashes. Let them tender for 10-12 minutes, and keep stirring.

Step 3 – After sauteing them well, add one more cup of water and put the lid on again. Pressure cook it for 15-20 minutes.

Step 4 – After the time beeps, quickly release the lid and add a few fried onions and chopped cilantro and mint leaves.

Your Lentils with meat are ready to be served. Same as in the Vegan Style, for more flavour, you can squeeze lemon before serving.

different types of pulses

Wrapping Up:

So this is all about the How to Cook Lentils article guide. For all those who care for their health, the recipe for Lentils is just perfect for them. These hot tasty Lentils not only make our food delicious but also provide us with all the nutrition that our body needs for proper functioning. Hope you like this How to Cook Lentils from here.

If you enjoy reading this How to Cook Lentils guide then please do share it with others as well also. Lentils will keep you full, healthy, and energized. So, for a lovely king-size lunch, pick any of the recipes of Lentils and, at the same time, increase your body’s nutritional level by 3X. So, why wait? Try out both the recommended recipes for How to Cook Lentils? Today only.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) –

1. How Long Do You Soak Lentils Before Cooking?

Always allow Lentils to soak for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours for the best results. For the best results, it’s better to soak Lentils in hot water for at least 15 minutes. And 24 hours before cooking.

2. How Can You Know if Lentils are Properly Cooked or Not?

Lentils are considered to be cooked as soon as they are tender and not crunchy anymore. If it takes longer, stir the lentils with ¼ spoonfuls of salt.

3. Are Undercooked Lentils Poisonous?

Can Lentils Be Eaten Raw? Unfortunately, no. Raw lentils have lectins, a class of protein that, unlike other proteins, adheres to your digestive tract and can cause several unpleasant reactions, including vomiting and diarrhoea.

4. Is Lentils Good for Weight Loss?

People may be able to reduce weight or maintain a healthy weight by eating more lentils. People can avoid or manage obesity and reduce weight by substituting legumes like lentils for high-calorie or energy-dense foods. In addition, consuming lentils consistently may aid in controlling and preventing diabetes.

5. What are the Different Types of Lentils?

There are usually four main lentils: Brown, Green, Yellow, and speciality.

6. Why are Lentils Taking Too Much Time to Cook?

Adding salt or lemon too early to the Lentils water can cause it to cook late.

*TIP: Wait for the Lentils to tender first, then add the salt or lemon juice.

7. Should Lentils need to absorb all the water?

NO! Lentils do not need to absorb all the water; if you have correctly checked that Lentils are tender, then you can permanently remove the extra water from them. But it’s essential that if you are doing this, it should be done before adding any spices.


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