Monday, May 14, 2012


Lentils are very possibly my favorite thing to eat. They're rich in fiber and protein and you can fit, like, ten thousand of them on a plate.  You really just can't go wrong by having a sack of dry lentils sitting somewhere in your cupboard.

Because guess what? Who the 'F' makes lentils? Chefs, that's who. 

Not only are they nutritious and E-Z to cook,  they're also


How to Cook Lentils

Start off your saute with some basic flavor enhancers:


Saute your aromatics and then add a cup of well washed lentils. (These legumes are very small and it will be necessary to examine them closely before cooking to make sure they aren't just tiny pebbles, which has been known to happen!) 

At this point in the cooking you will need to make the choice of whether to use some type of broth, or just plain water to cook your lentils. Either is acceptable and any liquid will eventually get the job done, but be aware that the presence of salt in your cooking liquid will increase the time needed to fully cook your lentils. 


My favorite spices to use with lentils are bay leaf, coriander, and turmeric, but the possibilities are literally endless. Mess around until you find something you like. The average authentic Indian dish has somewhere around 50 different spices in it, so you REALLY can't go wrong, even if you just put a little bit of everything into your stew!

Main Tips:
1. Saute aromatics THEN add the lentils and liquid. (2:1 liquid to dry lentils. If your liquid is gone and your lentils are still hard... add more liquid.)
2. Bring the liquid to a BOIL for at least 3 minutes before lowering to a SIMMER (aids digestion).
3. Season the lentils after they are cooked tender (about 30 minutes) and stir in a few tablespoons of some type of fat; Butter, yogurt, margarine, whatever. It gives the lentils a nice creamy mouth feel. A few drops of Worcestershire sauce can be nice as well.



  1. I read something once that said if you add a leetle bit of vinegar or lemon juice, it cuts down on the backfiring - true, chef?

    1. To be more specific, beans and legumes contain sugar molecules called olligosaccharides (raffinose and stachyose in particular). Olligosaccharides require a particular enzyme in order to be digested. Since that enzyme is not normally found in the human digestive tract, these sugars are typically digested by bacteria in the colon (products like 'Beano' contain a low dose of this enzyme.) Vinegar can help break down those sugars, but so can boiling the lentils for a few minutes before turning them down to a simmer. In the case of beans, soaking over night can also start the process of breaking down sugars.