18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Ok, I've never cooked lentils from scratch before. I had no idea that even if you soak them overnight that they still take an hour and a half to cook! But, they came out good. A little olive oil, one cooking onion, one roma tomato, then the lentils, with a little water on top.

In the meantime, though, I was hungry! So, I had some Whitewave Wheat Meat and leftover chole. The lentils will be dinner tomorrow.


lonna said...

That's weird. I never soak my lentils and they only take 45 minutes to cook. I just add a lot of water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 45 minutes.

Anonymous said...

That IS weird. What type of lentils are they? I never soak mine, and I never cook more than 30-40 minutes. It seems like they would be very mushy!

KathyF said...

Whoops, that was me. I don't know why it made me anonymous!

Anna said...

I never soak lentils and they never take that long to cook. Red lentils take about 20 minutes, brown lentils about 30 minutes and green lentils about 35 minutes tops.

Perhaps your lentils were old? Apparently the older the pulses the longer they take to cook....

Wouldn't waste time soaking them again though, they definitely don't need it! :o)

Susanna said...

I agree with the rest. Lentils are my choice of bean if I'm pressed for time because they cook so quickly. I know this from experience, since I can make a lentil dish in 30 minutes. Concomitantly, I have had this experienced confirmed by chefs like Madhur Jaffrey and others who say "never soak lentils for they cook quickly." I would say that those lentils were old. All beans passed their prime will get impossible to cook. You were lucky you were able to cook them at all. My mom once got a batch of old chickpeas and those bastards never cooked (even after 3 hours in the pressure cooker). It is my experience that beans bought in bulk are fresher than those that sell in little packages.
Good luck with the beans next time!

Anonymous said...

i have heard that acid (ie in the tomato) will stop the cooking/softening of the lentils. perhaps due to the low tomato to lentil ratio it was not 100 % effective, as you indicate they did get cooked in the end.

Anonymous said...

and then i had to go make sure i was not starting a vicious lentil rumor and, lo and behold, memory served.
anonymous again

Preparation of Lentils

One advantage of lentils over other legumes is that they do not require soaking. You can soak them for a few hours if you wish and this will reduce the cooking time by about half.

Before cooking with lentils it is advisable to rinse them in cold water and pick through them for any little stones which may be present. When cooking lentils by themselves, in preparation for adding to a recipe or as an accompaniment, use 3 times the amount of water to lentils and avoid cooking with anything acidic, such as vinegar, as that retards the cooking process. It is possible to substitute one type of lentil for another although you may need to adjust the cooking time. Cookings times for the main three types of lentils are:-