Lentils are packed with nutrients, fibre, complex carbohydrates, and folic acid. Lentils are a low in calories, low fat and cholesterol free food as well as being inexpensive. Lentils are also an important source of iron, especially for women, whose iron needs are greater. Eating lentils with foods rich in Vitamin C, such as tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, and citrus fruits or juices, helps the body absorb iron more efficiently.
Lentils are legumes that generally have a rich nutty flavor. They are grown in pods, which contain one or two seeds each. There are many varieties that are classified as large or small and are round, oval or heart shaped. They are generally no more than a 1/4 of an inch in diameter. Lentils cook much faster than dried beans and do not require soaking. The green and brown lentils, hold their shape best after cooking, are the most common types used. Have good nutritional value, containing dietary fibre, B-vitamins, protein, and hardly any calories.
Add to curry and soup, use to make dahl, or use with rice dishes. Can be eaten cold and added to salads.
Don't overcook to avoid becoming mushy. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
Just whole brown lentils and nothing else.
per 100g Energy: 1293kJ/304kcal, Protein 23.8g, Carbohydrate 53.2g, Fat 1g.
Packed in a factory that handles nuts.
The lentil is the seed of a leguminous plant. The brown lentil is plumper and smaller than the green lentil with an earthy flavour.
Lentils require only a few simple steps to prepare them for cooking. Follow the preparation steps below.
1.Spread lentils out in a single layer on a white kitchen towel or a light colored work surface. Check for and discard any dirt, tiny stones, and damage lentils.
2.After checking through the lentils, place them in a strainer and rinse thoroughly under cold water.
3.They are ready to cook after rinsing. The lentils do not require soaking before cooking.
Be sure to start taste testing the lentils for desired tenderness 10 to 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Do not overcook or they will become mushy.
If adding lentils to a salad or if you desire a firmer textured lentil in your soup or stew, only cook them until they have a tender but firm texture.
If cooking to use in a puree, cook until soft.
Cooking times will also vary depending on the age of the lentils, which affects their moisture content. When using packaged lentils, be sure to check for tenderness before the end of the suggested cooking time. Most suggested cooking times are longer than necessary and could cause the lentils to become mushy.
Brown Lentil Chilli
This warming chilli is great served with baked potatoes or rice. Be careful to warn guests about the whole chillies, or take them out as you serve out portions.
1tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp cumin seed
1tsp coriander seed
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 red or green pepper
8oz / 225g courgettes, diced
8oz / 225g mushrooms, chopped
6oz / 175g brown lentils
3 whole dried chillies
2tsp chilli powder
14oz / 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1tbsp tomato puree
2 pints / 300ml vegetable stock
½tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1. Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until quite soft.
2. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until the seeds begin to pop.
Add the vegetables and sweat for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the lentils, chillies and chilli powder. Stir in well and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour over the tomatoes and stock or water.
4. Stir in the tomato puree and boil. Simmer for 50-60 minutes.
5. Add more stock if necessary.
Add the ground cumin, season to taste and cook for another 10 minutes.