Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Different Types of Lentils>>

green-red-and-brown-lentils.jpg green red and brown lentils image by flighty02

Lentils are legumes along with other types of beans. They grow in pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds that are round, oval or heart-shaped disks and are oftentimes smaller than the tip of a pencil eraser. They may be sold whole or split into halves with the brown and green varieties being the best at retaining their shape after cooking.

Food Chart

There are many different types of lentils. Here's a description of some of the most popular varieties.

Brown Lentils
These are the most common type of lentils found in stores. The have a mild flavor and can be used in many different types of recipes. They tend to get mushy if cooked too long. They are good in lentil soup.

Black or Beluga Lentils
These lentils are small, delicate, and black and are shiny like Beluga caviar when cooked, hence their name. They are more expensive than other lentils. Use them in lentil soup or salads.

Puy Lentils or French Green Lentils
Considered by many to be the most delicate and flavorful of lentils, these small, brownish green or speckled green lentils originated in Le Puy, France. They don't get as mushy as some other lentils so they're great in recipes that require the lentils to remain firm.

Green Lentils
Like French green lentils, green lentils don't turn mushy as fast as some other lentils.

Red Chief Lentils or Split Red Lentils
Salmon colored lentils that turn golden when cooked. They get soft fast and are therefore great in soups.

Petite Crimson Lentils
These are very small lentils that cook very fast and are about a third the size of other lentils.

Yellow Lentils or Toor Dal
These lentils are yellow with a mild flavor. In India, they are often ground into a flour.

White Lentils
These are black lentils that have had their black skins removed to reveal the white interior.

Split Black Lentils
Black lentils that have been split but not skinned, giving

Macachiados Lentils

lentilmix.jpg image by Missymop
These Mexican lentils are yellow and larger than other lentils.


Ixchel said...

Love the white lentils also known as Urad ni Daal...Urad bean is sometimes referred to as "Black gram". It is the main ingredient of the South Indian dishes: Iddli and Dosai.

I will post the recipe for a very simple soup with urad ni daal next time I prepare it.

More info about daal here.

Anonymous said...

What colour of skin did the red or yellow lentils have?