Given the high protein and fibre content in these legumes, lentils are often a core staple to any vegetarian’s diet. It can be stewed, boiled, or eaten cold mixed in with a salad. In certain cuisines it’s also used for desserts. It is believed these nutritionally good-for-you seeds originate from a plant grown in Asia. But it’s not only used by the Chinese, people in India, the Middle East, Greek, and parts of Europe also favour using it in their cooking.
Lentils can come in different colours, shapes, sizes, and can be whole or split into halves.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common types of lentils:
Brown: The most commonly used variety that has a mild flavour and holds its shape even when it’s cooked.
Green: Otherwise known as puy lentil or French green would be the most flavoursome out of all the varieties, as it has a peppery taste. This makes it ideal for being used in salads. Just remember it takes a bit longer to cook, and even when it’s cooked it will stay firm.
Red: These sweeter tasting lentils become mushy when cooked through, which is why the Indians and the Middle Eastern use it to make curries and stews.
Black lentils: Often referred to as beluga lentils, these varieties aren’t as common as the above, but is distinct because of its strong, earthy flavour. When cooked it turns glistens almost, similar to caviar.
Recipe ideas for lentils:
- Spiced lentil muffins by Our Fresh Kitchen
- Lentil walnut pate by The Bojon Gourmet
- Lentil chilli by Little Broken