Red lentils

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Red Lentils

Red Lentils or Masoor Dal. The mainstay pulse for your storecupboard, as the base for simple dhal recipes - e.g. tarka dhal. When whole, the pulse is green-brown and takes a long time to cook, so they are mostly used hulled and split - i.e. as a red lentils.

Orangey-red small flat and round beans. They cook to a golden-yellow soft mush - they're delicious and mush is a bit mean to them. Red lentils taste lightly earthy, and go very well in winter soups and pick up the flavours of garlic and onion well.

To prepare:

It is not necessary to soak them overnight, but you can do so. Cover with water and simmer for about 30 minutes. For a flavoursome dish, try tarka dhal.

Food and Flavour Pairing

Red lentils go well with:

Storing

Red lentils last for a good length of time, but do toughen with age, so buy in smallish quantities. If you buy in bulk, check for dirt and insects as these are not uncommon and should be anticipated. Store somewhere dark and cool, and free from potential insect contamination.

Further reading

  • Christian, G. (2005) Real Flavours: the handbook of gourmet & deli ingredients, Grub Street. ISBN 1904943209.
  • Stobart, T. (1981) The Cook's Encyclopedia: ingredients & processes, Harper & Row. ISBN 0060141271.