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My lentil confession

20 replies

FuckFaulknerILikeTheGruffalo · 18/04/2016 19:42

So... here goes:

I've never, ever made anything with lentils.
But I would like to. I'm trying to cut down on meat consumption but keep protein up and I know lentils (among other things I do) are good for this so I'd really like to try different meals with them. I'd like them to be a cupboard staple, the way pasta is in this house.

What the heck do I do with them?? I look up recipes online and it all seems so overwhelming!

Has anyone got some basic pointers/recipes for lentils? A sort of intro to lentils perhaps... If I say the word "lentils" in my head one more time I may go batty Wine Grin

OP posts:
DoItTooJulia · 18/04/2016 19:45

Little red lentils (and some of the more 'exotic' ones like urid) cook really fast.

Others like puy lentils take much longer to cook.

Why not start by adding them to a soup to get the hang of it? Always wash them first. We love lentils!!

Springdew · 18/04/2016 19:55

Lentil Dahl.
Chop an onion up into small cubes
Heat in a bit of olive oil with a clove of garlic chopped.
Cook until soft about five mins.
Add some turmeric, ground cumin and ground coriander I do about a generous teaspoon of each more so of the turmeric.
Stir up and add washed crazy jack red lentils. Stir add cold water bring to boil and simmer for about twenty mins.
You can add cauliflower if you like to give it more substance.
Or chile powder or fresh chillie.
Serve on its own or with wild rice.
Squeeze fresh lemon onto it and add plenty of fresh coriander it's delicious.
Toasted cumin seeds are a nice touch too but a bit of a faff.

Right, off to check my Dahl!

Lanark2 · 18/04/2016 19:57

Get a slow cooker! I cook brown lentils without soaking in it and they are terrific. I add them to stews and Moroccan chicken style dishes.. Really good way to cook lentils..

Springdew · 18/04/2016 19:57

Oh and if you like it add plenty of ground pepper as mixed with the turmeric has extra health benefits

DoreenLethal · 18/04/2016 20:00

I have a tarka dal recipe over there on my desktop >^ I made it at the weekend and it is fab.

FuckFaulknerILikeTheGruffalo · 18/04/2016 20:06

Wash them?... How do I know when they're clean?? Or is to get starchiness out? Such a rookie.

Julia, I think the "chuck them into stuff to bulk it" route is probably best!

And thanks for the recipe, Spring!

I only ever make Irish stew these days, Lanark, so don't know how that would turn out! I do agree on the slowcooker thing, my nan is shocked I don't own one, she tried to buy me one once, as soon as she got over the shock! I'm sort of at this stage where I've fallen out of love with cooking and I'm trying to get my mojo back. I'm just recycling the same meals, over and over. I'm feeling a bit "NY resolution"-y in April of all times.

OP posts:
SheDoneAlreadyDoneHadHerses · 18/04/2016 20:36

Lentil Bolognese is a winner in our house (it's a netmums recipe and brilliant)

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 onion, diced
garlic (2x cloves)
150g red lentils, dried
200g mushrooms (optional), sliced
400g spaghetti (100g spaghetti per adult/50g per child)
800g tomatoes (2x tins), chopped
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp dried oregano
cheese (to serve), grated
Gently fry the onions and garlic in a drop of olive oil for about 5 minutes
Add the mushrooms (if using) and fry for a few minutes before adding the lentils - fry gently until pale
Add the tomatoes, herbs and beef stock - stir well and simmer for half an hour
While the lentils are cooking, cook the spaghetti
If the sauce looks too thick, add some boiled water, during the cooking time
Serve with grated cheese or Parmesan (if preferred)

Springdew · 18/04/2016 20:50

You're welcome! It's a bit wordy but if you look it's just fry an onion add spices and lentils add water being to boil simmer for twenty mins. Really really simple and delicious.

I never used to wash mine but do now just pop in a bowl wash in cold water you'll see the water turns white and murky rinse empty and repeat until water is clear all it does it help reduce a layer of scum forming when cooking.

PreAdvent13610 · 18/04/2016 21:02

Just bung in a handful of green lentils or soup mix when making the irish stew.
If you like sweet potatoes make dhal by cooking a peeled chopped sweet potato with a couple of handfuls of split red lentils a pinch of salt and when all soft, mash the buggery out of it. Stir in spoon of garlic pickle.
Don't let lentils boil dry, also don't use too much water and create gruel. This is the bit that takes practice.

thenumberseven · 19/04/2016 16:56

Lentils with chorizo
In a little oil fry a chopped onion, garlic and carrot cut into rounds. Add chorizo cut into pieces. Sprinkle paprika, add brown lentils and water. Season with salt and pepper and if you want a stock cube. Half way through cooking add a chopped potato.
If you like when you put in the chorizo you can add chopped green pepper and a ripe skinned and chopped tomato.

Destinysdaughter · 19/04/2016 17:01

Carrot and lentil soup is easy and tasty!

soloula · 19/04/2016 19:11

I'm having Fakes (Greek Lentil Soup) tonight. I don't have a recipe as such as I've been making it for years so just kind of judge ingredients by eye. This recipe is very close to mine except I put a handful of whole cloves of garlic in. As it's slow cooked they really mellow out. I put loads of vinegar in mine to serve to - sounds odd but tastes amazing!

soloula · 19/04/2016 19:12
FuckFaulknerILikeTheGruffalo · 19/04/2016 19:15

Thanks everyone, I have red and puy lentils now... I shall use DP as a guinea pig Grin Think I'll start with a soup, the bolognese and the dahl - thanks for the recipes! He's a healthnut so is quite interested.

I just really needed a hand-hold! Like a kid taking the bus alone for the first time, it's nice to be walked to the bus stop.

OP posts:
cruikshank · 19/04/2016 19:17

You don't need to soak brown lentils. Ten minutes hard boil with the lid off fifteen simmer with lid on and they're done.

Herewegoagainfolks · 19/04/2016 19:21

Vegetable chilli with lentils is fab.

But tinned green chill is and then you don't have to soak them.

I chuck whatever vegetables I have in the pot with the green lentils, passata, spices and a little red wine.

Tastes great and is healthy too.

cruikshank · 19/04/2016 19:26

Op I think the best lentil recipes are the ones where you create dishes using lentils in their own right rather than as a meat substitute. So dal is great but also Google other eastern recipes eg stuff by madhur jaffrey -there's a long tradition of meat free eating so you may as well make use of it!

mommybunny · 20/04/2016 16:45

There's a great coconut lentil curry recipe on the "Vegangela" website that's made with red lentils - I made a batch last week and just had the defrosted leftovers for lunch today - yumm.

Thanks all for the tips and recipes - I'm trying to eat more lentils too and will definitely try the bolognese.

FuckFaulknerILikeTheGruffalo · 20/04/2016 22:21

Yes, Cruikshank (love the name!) I would like to start making more exotic things again - but going to start in my safety zone. With a hard hat Grin

OP posts:
oldlaundbooth · 20/04/2016 22:26

Red lentils cook in twenty mins, no soaking required. They 'disappear' into sauces.

Green and brown lentils take longer, 40mins. Again, no soaking required. They keep their texture more, they are more nutty.

Kidney beans, chick peas, butter beans etc are awesome too but often need loads of soaking. Tins are the way forward : drain and use!

Once you start you'll be glad you did, they are cheap and an incredible source of protein.

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