How to Cook Lentils for Getting Maximum Benefits

These are the measures that need to be taken in order to cook lentils in a manner that would maximise their nutritional benefits:

1. Pick the Type

Lentils are green, brown, red, and black. Cooking times and textures vary by type. Whole lentils contain more fibre and minerals than divided ones.

2. Rinse Thoroughly

Wash lentils under cold water before cooking to remove dirt. This reduces anti-nutrients such phytates.

3. Soak (Optional)

Lentils don't need soaking, however soaking them for a few hours or overnight helps speed up cooking and enhance digestion. Discard the soaking water and rinse lentils again before cooking.

4. Cooking Methods

Cook lentils on the hob, pressure cooker or slow cooker. The cooking time depends on the lentil type and manner.

Stovetop Method

Rinsed lentils and water or broth should be 1:2 in a pot. Boil the liquid, then lower heat, cover, and simmer. Cook lentils till cooked but not mushy. Lentils cook around 15–45 minutes, depending on type.

Pressure Cooker Method

Try the same rinsing and soaking. In a pressure cooker, mix lentils and water or broth 1:2. Cook lentils under high pressure for 8–15 minutes, depending on kind. Quickly relieve pressure.

5. Seasoning and Flavoring

To flavour lentils, add onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, or bay leaves as they cook. Avoid adding salt or acidic ingredients like tomatoes until the lentils are thoroughly cooked to avoid toughening.

6. Avoid Overcooking

Do not overcook lentils until they are mushy to maximise nutrients. Tender lentils should retain their form.

7. Storage

Cooked lentils can be frozen or refrigerated for many days. For nutritional benefits, add them to soups, salads, stews, or sides.

Also See

Fenugreek: An Herb with Impressive Health Benefits