Prepare the lentils
Before cooking lentils, the following applies to all types: Check beforehand whether there are any small stones or grains of corn hiding between the lentils. These are sorted out.
It is also important to rinse the lentils thoroughly with water before cooking, because this way dirt and foreign particles can be detached from the legumes, which can be easily recognized by the cloudy wastewater. Ideally, hold the lenses under the water until the wastewater remains clear.
Which lentils soak and why?
Depending on the type, it is important to soak lentils before cooking. This is especially true for large lenses like lentils, so as not to extend their cooking time. The same applies to smaller and green lentils, as the legumes swell when they are soaked and taste more tender after cooking.
Red and yellow lentils have no shell and disintegrate when cooked. The rule here: do not soak.
How to soak lentils?
lenses with three times the amount of water Put in a suitable container (porcelain, ceramic or glass). Subsequently overnight or more than twelve hours soak in water.
The ideal length of soaking time depends on the temperature of the water. The warmer the water, the shorter the soaking time.
A tip: if the lentils are soaked in salt water, they usually do not burst when they are cooked. The disadvantage: the cooking time is longer.
Cooking lentils properly
There are several rules to follow when cooking lentils.
How Much Water for Lentils?
When Rule of thumb The following applies to the amount of water when cooking lentils: two parts of water and one part of lentils or twice the amount of water as lentils.
Which pot to cook lentils?
The pot for cooking the lentils should be large enough so that after adding the lentils and the cooking water, a third of its capacity remains empty. The reason is that lentils foam up when cooked, so that the whole thing overflows if the saucepan is too small.
Use soaking water or fresh water to cook lentils?
Use the soaking water or fresh water to cook the lentils. Basically, soaking water contains healthy minerals. On the other hand, substances that are difficult to digest. This means that if you are prone to indigestion, it is best to use water straight from the tap.
How to cook lentils?
First bring the water to a boil, then add the lentils and simmer at low temperature.
Add salt to the cooking water?
When salt is added, the lentils become crisp and are particularly suitable for lentil salad. For really soft lentils, however, you do not use salt in the cooking water. This applies, for example, if the lentils are served as a side dish to goulash.
The optimal cooking time
Depending on the type of lentils, the cooking time varies:
- Large lentils such as plate lentils take 30 minutes to soak. If this was not the case, you will need 60 minutes.
- Small lentils like mountain lentils take around 20 minutes to cook.
- Red and yellow lentils ten to fifteen minutes. Do not soak these lentils beforehand.
- Beluga lentils and puy lentils take 25-30 minutes to cook after soaking.
Can I continue to use the cooking water?
When using the cooking water from lentils, one often hears the recommendation not to continue using it, because the ingredients in the cooking water promote flatulence.
Our recipe recommendations:
Which spices go well with lentils?
Fennel, thyme, caraway, ginger or marjoram can all be used when cooking lentils. These counteract flatulence, which often occurs after consuming lentils. Depending on the recipe, horseradish, garlic, and rosemary also go well with lentils.