Table of Contents
- Are Lentils Gluten Free?
- What Do Lentils Taste Like – Black Lentils
- What Do Lentils Taste Like – Red Lentils
- What Do Lentils Taste Like – Green Lentils
- Greek Lentil Soup
- How To Store Lentils
What do lentils taste like has become an important question for people who want to start eating more healthily. The taste of lentils depends on the variety and the color with the green lentil having a nice peppery taste.
Lentils are a staple food across the globe and are full of fiber and protein. But what do lentils taste like? They are healthy, yes, but is their taste going to enhance a dish? Many people are looking to eat more healthily now to boost their immune system and lentils are not only super nutritious, but they are also low fat and tasty, and great for adding into soups and stews. A Mexican lentil soup too always looks particularly inviting when served with slices of avocado.
Are Lentils Gluten Free?
But are lentils gluten free? It will be good if they are because every second person seems to be gluten intolerant these days. So yes, green lentils are gluten-free. And what do lentils taste like that are gluten free? The green ones have the added bonus of having a lovely peppery taste.
Are lentils gluten free? Yes, as a type of legume, they are naturally free of gluten and safe to eat if you follow a gluten-free diet. What is excellent about them is that they are also low in sodium and fat. They are naturally free of gluten and safe to eat on a gluten-free diet. Remember though that if you are eating lentils in a restaurant, cross-contamination is possible and then they can quite possibly not be safe on a gluten-free diet.
Because of the protein content, for those people looking to decrease the amount of meat in their diet, they use more lentils. What do lentils taste like? They do not all taste the same and the color of the lentils you choose to use in your cooking will give off a certain flavor.
We look at some lentil colors –
What Do Lentils Taste Like – Black Lentils
Of black lentils, black beluga lentils are the most common variety. What do lentils taste like when they are brown? They have a mild, earthy flavor. The dark brown ones or black are usually black Beluga lentils and they have this deep earthy flavor.
It’s these black beluga lentils that are the most nutritious variety. They are small and grown in cooler climates, being less common than the red and yellow varieties. They are very fibrous and are great at absorbing other flavors.
One very famous recipe involving black lentils is from Punjab, India, which is famously called Dal Makhani , which translates to buttery lentils. Even though not impossible, it may be a little difficult to make a vegan version of it as it does use dairy products traditionally. Here goes the recipe
Dal Makhani – Buttery Lentils From Punjab
- 1 cup black urad lentils or black-beluga lentils (dry)
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin
- 2 pcs onions (large)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (grated)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 2-3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tbsp garam masala (mixed spices)
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- ½ tsp asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chili
- 4 pcs tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup cream
- A little salt
Prepare the lentils. Rinse them thoroughly first. Beans are better if they are soaked for at least a few hours, then they take about 30 minutes to cook. When they have boiled completely (and maybe cooled down a bit), feel free to pour a little at a time on a large plate and go through so that there are no beans that are still small and hard (they are darker than the rest, so they are easy to find). For some reason, this sometimes happens with urad beans. If you are using beluga lentils, you do not need to soak or “clean”.
Heat some shortening and fry 1 teaspoon whole cumin for a few minutes, then add 2 finely chopped large onions, 1 tablespoon each of grated garlic and ginger, and 2-3 tablespoons tomato puree. Fry for a while.
Add 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (or replace with 1/2 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder), 1 teaspoon turmeric, and 1 teaspoon chili powder and fry for a few seconds.
Add 4 finely chopped tomatoes, the cooked beans/lentils and 3 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and two bay leaves. Then let boil on fairly low heat for about 1 hour.
Mix ½ cup cream and salt to taste. The lentils are suitably served with rice and/or bread. It is tradition to serve the dish with a dollop of butter on top.
What Do Lentils Taste Like – Red Lentils
What do lentils taste like that are golden and red in color? They are the sweetest lentils and they also cook quickly. People who know lentils say that these lentils tend to get a bit soft so they are more suited to curries. Here is one recipe with red lentils –
Lentil Stew With Red Lentils And Spinach
- 1.5 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup Coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup red lentils
- 1 bunch of fresh spinach
- Heat oil in a saucepan or frying pan and saute onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon for a few minutes while stirring.
- Add chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, and salt. Bring to the boil.
- Add the lentils and let the pot simmer under a lid on low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach and serve the stew hot.
What Do Lentils Taste Like – Green Lentils
Green Lentils can also have a mottled green-brown color. What do lentils taste like that are green in color? These green, glossy lentils are wonderful in a host of dishes as they have a peppery flavor. And here is one recipe with green lentils –
Greek Vegan Soup With Green Lentils
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2-3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1.2 l of water
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Boil the lentils in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Peel and cut the carrot into pieces. Finely chop the celery.
- Add a little olive oil and saute onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in a large saucepan. Add tomato puree, oregano and fry a little more.
- Turn in lentils, crumbled bouillon cubes, and bay leaves. Pour in the water.
- Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a fitting lid. Let the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the lentils soften.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the finely chopped parsley. Top with a splash of red wine vinegar (optional) and serve with a piece of bread.
The lentils grow in pods, with 1 to 3 lentils being in a pod. They grow in sandy, loam kind of soil but can in fact be grown in all kinds of soils. They grow on vines and you’ll notice the vine having a whitish, purple flower. Growers provide lentils with some kind of a trellis to support them. It is each of these flowers that produce a pod that contains the seeds. They require full sun to grow and they can also be grown in containers.
What do lentils taste like? Does it matter where they are grown? Lentils originated in Asia and North Africa, and not only are they packed full of protein, but also fiber, calcium, iron as well as other nutrients. They are an ancient agricultural crop and are grouped with the likes of peas and beans, being part of the legume family. They are also grown in pods and many vegetarians use them as a healthy alternative to meat.
What do lentils taste like in a delicious soup? A yummy lentil soup recipe is –
- A medium onion chopped up
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped up
- 4 garlic cloves chopped up
- 1 teaspoon curry, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Diced tomatoes – cup
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup of brown or green lentils or both
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Wash your lentils. Heat the olive over medium heat. When it is simmering gently, add the chopped onion and carrot, stirring often, Make sure the onion has turned translucent.
Then add the curry powder, garlic, thyme, and cumin and cook in for about ½ a minute. Now add the drained, diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes.
Pour in the lentils and the chopped greens, the water, and the broth. Add your salt and pepper. Raise the heat a bit and actually bring the soup to a boil. Partially cover the pot now and reduce the heat to allow the soup to simmer for half an hour. Lastly, stir in your lemon juice. Serve the lentil soup hot and with delicious fresh bread or rolls and butter. If you like you can even grate some cheese over your lentil soup to add in more flavor and texture. Any leftover soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Greek Lentil Soup
Greek lentil soup is actually very similar and is a super popular winter dish. Of course, it is highly nutritious and healthy. You could say that a Greek lentil soup has just a bit more kick in it than the lentil soup mentioned above. What do lentils taste like when they have been mixed with a splash of red wine and vinegar as well as crumbled feta cheese? A delicious Greek lentil soup is always known for its fresh herbs as well.
You do not have to think that lentils are only a soup ingredient. There are a hundred and one ways to use lentils to enhance other dishes. Many people love to use lentils to make snacks. Look at Bai’s Lentil Cookies just as an example.
They are made with lentils and also include other healthy ingredients such as rolled oats. What do lentils taste like in a salad? You can be sure that salads are healthy and a lot depends on the other ingredients you add. Look at the lentil, bean, and parsley salad. It is actually a cooked salad with some delicious ingredients complete with julienned celery stalks.
People also love Mexican lentil soup which is also made much the same way but has some added ingredients. Mexican lentil soup will always include things such as pepper and jalapenos to give the soup a wonderful spicy aroma.
How To Store Lentils
When you buy dried lentils, they can be stored at room temperature, in an and up to a year. Before you use them in your cooking, sift them to remove any odd one or even bits of stone you may find among them. You need to wash them.
While it is not necessary, some people will soak them which does tend to cut down cooking time. In fact, you can buy lentils in their dried form or even canned. It’s alright to use canned lentils for a quick dish you have in mind. Once you have opened a packet of dried lentils you need to store the rest of them in an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry place.
They are much like rice in terms of cooking although people who know lentils well will say that you should cook lentils in the same way that you cook pasta. Just like with pasta, you need to cover your lentils, so in effect, as a rule, you can cook one cup of dried lentils to give you two-and-a-half cups of cooked lentils. In fact, a red lentil pasta recipe that takes just 30 minutes to prepare is the ideal dish for vegans and is super delish for anyone – like comfort food.
Anyone looking for a healthy meal will love a red lentil pasta dish as it’s a plant-based meal packed full of nutrients, with red lentils being an excellent vegan protein. Red lentils are split lentils, so they cook quickly too.
For this delicious red lentil pasta recipe, you’ll need –
- Red split lentils
- Tomato sauce without any added sugar
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Paprika, oregano, basil
- Vegetable broth and salt
Cook your pasta and follow the simple cooking instructions on the packaging. Make the sauce by cooking your diced onion and garlic in olive oil and adding the sauce ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring in between. Stir in the cooked pasta and still for about minutes while the sauce thickens. You can sprinkle cheese over it and see how utterly delicious it is.
To prepare a meal with lentils is not difficult and they certainly hold the secret to some wonderful tasting soups. What do lentils taste like? They have got an earthy, peppery taste and glorify the finer flavors of food.