What are red lentils, benefits and how to cook them

Lentils are wonderful and exquisite legumes well known in the kitchen of many countries, where it is usual to consume them accompanied with broth and other ingredients, or simply sautéed. In Spain, for example, it is very common to consume them sautéed with sausage and other sausages, and in other countries (as well as in this one) they are a symbol of luck when they are eaten on the first day of the year.

Although the best known and popular are the black lentils , in recent years red lentils They are gaining followers, especially for their ease of cooking and for being much simpler to prepare. Why? Fundamentally because not having the typical outer cuticle that the black lentils possess, it is not necessary to soak them the night before. And, in addition, tends to cook in less time.

Today we want to talk about them, discovering what they are, what are the virtues that their regular consumption offers us and, above all, how we can cook them in the kitchen.

Orange lentils

What are red lentils? How are they and what are they?

The red lentils They are a variety of lentils that are part of the leguminous family -legumes-, and scientifically known by the name of Lenticchia Rossa . They are easily distinguishable by their reddish-orange color, while when we consume them we also notice their texture when eating them.

They are tremendously popular and very traditional in Indian cuisine, where it is customary to prepare them in dishes such as Tarka Dal and Dahl or Daal. Both dishes are highly valued, especially by vegetarians, as they are nutritious and tasty dishes made with legumes.

What are the benefits of red legumes?

From a nutritional point of view, red lentils stand out for their elaborate supply of fiber, which is ideal for improving various intestinal functions, helping to regulate intestinal transit and being very useful in the prevention of constipation. It also provides a feeling of fullness and helps maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

They also provide an interesting amount of iron, which can be very interesting especially when combined with foods rich in vitamin C, since the absorption of this mineral will be much better. For example, red lentils accompanied by red or green peppers are ideal.

Your contribution in vitamins is also very interesting. It emphasizes its content in particular folic acid , an essential vitamin known in turn as B9 and which is essential both before and during pregnancy, to prevent defects of the baby's neural tube.

Nutritional properties of red lentils

On the other hand, if you have trouble digesting black lentils, you may be surprised to see that you will not have this problem with red lentils. Why? Fundamentally because they do not have the typical outer shell that the dark variety possess. Therefore, they are easier to digest and, in addition, it will not be necessary to leave them to soak the night before, as we will see in the next section.

Of course, red lentils have a drawback. They have a deficit in methionine, an essential amino acid, so it is highly advisable to accompany them with some cereal, such as rice. They will become, thus, a much more nutritious dish and also rich in proteins.

How to cook red lentils easily

As we mentioned before, the truth is that the production of red lentils is much simpler and easier compared to black lentils. Especially because it is not necessary to keep them soaking during the night before.

This time we will learn to cook red lentils without adding more ingredients, in a basic way.

How to cook red lentils

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 2 + 1/2 cup of water
  • Salt
  • Black pepper to taste

How to cook common red lentils:

  1. Put the red lentils in a colander or sieve and wash them well under the tap of cold water. Wash them and rinse them well to remove traces of dirt that may remain on them.
  2. Pour the red lentils in a saucepan and add water.
  3. Put the water to cook until it starts to boil. Just when they start to boil, reduce heat and cook the red lentils over low heat for about 25 minutes. It is necessary that you remove them from time to time to avoid sticking.
  4. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Ready! They will be at your point when you notice that the red lentils have become a kind of thick puree.

You can enjoy them adding a little curry and accompanying them with a little roasted pepper or cereals like brown rice. It will become a wonderful and tremendously nutritious dish.

And if you dare to elaborate some more recipe, we share this wonderful video where you will learn how to make exquisite red lentils with vegetables:

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