Nutrition and DietWhat are red lentils, benefits and how to cook them?

What are red lentils, benefits and how to cook them?

How to easily cook red lentils at home and what do they consist of? They are wonderful legumes, full of nutritional health benefits. We reveal them to you.

Lentils are wonderful and exquisite legumes well known in the kitchen of many countries, where it is common 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 chorizo ​​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 most popular are black lentils, in recent years red lentils are gaining popularity, especially for their ease of cooking and for being much easier to prepare. Why? Mainly because by not having the typical outer cuticle that black lentils have, it is not necessary to soak them the night before. And, in addition, it tends to cook in less time.

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

What are red lentils? What are they like and what do they consist of?

The red lentils are a variety of lentils part of the legume family -legumes-, scientifically known under the name lenticchia Rosa. They are easily distinguishable by their reddish-orange color, while when we consume them we also notice their texture when we eat them.

They are tremendously popular and very traditional in Indian cuisine, where it is common 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 fiber content, which is ideal for improving different intestinal functions, helping to regulate intestinal transit and being very useful in preventing constipation. In addition, it provides a feeling of satiety and helps maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

They also provide a very 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 are ideal accompanied with red or green peppers.

Its contribution in vitamins is also very interesting. Its content in folic acid is particularly noteworthy, an essential vitamin known in turn as B9 and which is essential both before and during pregnancy, as it prevents neural tube defects in the baby.

On the other hand, if you have trouble digesting black lentils, you may be surprised to see that you won’t have this problem with red lentils. Why? Mainly because they do not have the typical outer shell that the dark variety have. Therefore, they are easier to digest and, in addition, it will not be necessary to soak them 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 a cereal, such as rice. They will thus become a much more nutritious dish and also rich in protein.

How to cook red lentils easily?

As we mentioned before, the truth is that the preparation of red lentils is much simpler and easier compared to black lentils. Especially since you don’t need to soak them overnight.

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

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 cold running water.  Wash and rinse them very well to remove any dirt that may remain on them.
  2. Pour the red lentils into a saucepan and add water.
  3. Put the water to cook until it starts to boil. Just when they start to boil, lower the heat and simmer the red lentils for about 25 minutes. You need to stir them from time to time to prevent them from sticking.
  4. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Ready! They will be at their point when you notice that the red lentils have turned into a kind of thick puree.

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

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

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