- 1 cup dry lentils = 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked.
- 1 pound dried lentils = 2-1/4 cups dry.
- 1 pound dried lentils = 4 servings.
- 1 pound dried lentils = 5 cups cooked.
- Lentils are the staple food in every Indian home. Dhal is what chicken is to the west it is India's comfort food and also it is usually the starter of every meal eaten with hot steaming rice or with freshly made chapati (leavened bread) straight off the girdle.
- European cuisines use lentils in soups and stews. They also make great cold salads.
- Lentils need no pre-soaking and cook much more quickly than other dried legumes.
- To cook lentils, simply pick over to remove debris or shriveled lentils, rinse, and drain. Cover with water or broth and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (to aid in digestion). Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Depending on the variety and age, cooking time may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.
- When using a pressure cooker to cook lentils, add a teaspoon of oil to keep the scum from blocking the safety valve.
- Salt added to the cooking water will toughen lentils. Add salt once the lentils are completely cooked.
- Acidic ingredients such as wine or tomatoes can lengthen cooking time. You may wish to add these ingredients after the lentils have become tender.
- Lentils should be liberally seasoned. Choose from: turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, jeers, red chilies or chili powder, hing/asafetida, onions, green chilies, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, garam masala, curry leaves. Add a little oil to enhance the flavors.
- The high protein content in lentils makes them an excellent meat substitute.
- Older lentils will take longer to cook because they have lost more moisture. Do not mix newly-purchased lentils with old ones. They will cook unevenly.
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