lentils

thanks for that but I had the idea that there were no potential gut consequences from lentils - that the soaking MIGHT just reduce cooking time. Though as I said I have no idea if there are negatives to soaking.
No negatives to soaking overnight only positives. Soaking neutralises phytic acid which causes gas and bloating (flatulence). It also releases tight binding minerals
 
thanks for that but I had the idea that there were no potential gut consequences from lentils - that the soaking MIGHT just reduce cooking time. Though as I said I have no idea if there are negatives to soaking.
I think lentils are the least likely to cause f*rting, but the type of fibre in pulses can certainly cause - erm - 'flatulence' for many people whose digestive systems are unaccustomed to them. I don't (personally) think that pre-soaking them makes any difference to that; certain herbs and spices are supposed to help reduce their flatulence-causing effect , as is pressure cooking, and starting with a small quantity every second or third day, and gradually increasing both frequency and quantity over a few weeks until you can eat them without trouble, will help with the issue!
 
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
Give em a go - they're so darned cheap that you can do that.
Just try cooking a big spoonful in some water and see how long until they soften. I often do that anyway if I get lentils from a new source. Brown ones seem to take longer to cook, split red lentils are the fastest IME. You can cook them for a lot longer but I like my dhal with a bit of texture to it. If someone doesn't like 'bits' in their soup/stew/saude, you can cook them down to a smooth puree.
ok, thanks - so it's just a matter of taste?
No terrible consequences from what some might see as undercooking?
I so generally prefer my food on the raw side - I steam veg for very short times to the horror of some - apart from meat, and am also wary of cooking away good nutritious stuff.

Any sort of lentil you consider particularly healthy/nutritious?
 
I add lentils to most soups I make. I have a measure I use so no idea of weight but just guess the amount by experience depending on what else is in the soup.
Short of ingredients just now so my next soup will probably be the coarse leaves of cabbage and lentils with a stock cube and if anything else is to hand that will go in as well. That will be a non lumpy soup as the cabbage is better pulverised. I may add some carrots if I get my act together in time.
I was taught by my wife who cooked by instinct rather than recipe and I tend to that method. There have been occasional disasters but not many. Mostly they involved too much chilli.:ohmy:
Dried chick peas are a pain as they take a long time to cook according to the instructions and I have not had enough experience of them to modify methods.
In mince or stew I use pearl barley rather than lentils.
 

IaninSheffield

Veteran
Location
Sheffield, UK
One attraction of them for me is that it seems you don't HAVE TO soak them
Yep, as Knitty said, soaking really not needed with lentils. Although Arrow's point duly noted.
How do you rate dried chickpeas vis-a-vis the canned things which are of course available very cheaply from the likes of Lidl and Aldi? - and possibly waitrose for all I know.
I used to only use dried chickpeas, then they became harder to get when Covid hit. Switched to canned and now wouldn't go back, although be aware of additives as Knitty mentioned.
the bags I have seem to say boil hard for 10 minutes and then simmer for something like 40 minutes?
Are they being over-cautious/boiling good stuff away?
Cooking time depends on the lentil; generally, the smaller the lentil, the shorter the time ... and depending in how much 'bite' you want left in them, or mushiness, which can be good too. Red lentils only take about 15min, plus or minus, depending on how long they've been stored. One other small thing with reds is they do benefit from rinsing before cooking, just to get rid of dust, it's not a health worry.
No terrible consequences from what some might see as undercooking?
The one pulse to worry about here is dried red kidney beans which do need vigorous boiling prior to further cooking https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-we... contain a natural,can use them straight away or just use tinned.

Experiment and enjoy :okay:
 
ok, thanks - so it's just a matter of taste?
No terrible consequences from what some might see as undercooking?
I so generally prefer my food on the raw side - I steam veg for very short times to the horror of some - apart from meat, and am also wary of cooking away good nutritious stuff.

Any sort of lentil you consider particularly healthy/nutritious?
Yes, I like my veggies with a bit of 'bite' to them. Some people might say oh this isn't fully cooked, but I like them that way, unless they're supposed to be soft in a long, slow-cooked thing.

I think if lentils aren't thoroughly cooked they can cause more flatulence! But it's quite hard to undercook lentils unless they're very old. They do need to be soft though, even if you don't want a mush. You need to be a bit more careful and thorough with many/most of the bigger beans - especially as mentioned above the kidney beans - not really a problem though. All the bigger beans benefit from extended cooking times to absorb and develop flavours. All pulses are high in protein and fibre; it's taste, preparation, cost etc preference which will guide your choice.
 
Oh just to add - with lentils, however long you cook them, you won't be 'boiling good stuff away' as there is no post-cooking water to rinse away and lose the good stuff. It's more like making porridge.

Wash before cooking, as mentioned by IaninSheffield. I just put mine in a sieve and run the tap over it then swish the sieve in the bowl of water and let it drain. Even if you're not pre-soaking, wash all pulses before cooking, whether you're putting them in the pressure cooker, or an overnight slow-cooked stew.
 
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
An often overlooked and related similar foodstuff is dried peas. Yellow split peas for example can also make a great dahl and/or a gorgeous soup (with a naughty bit of bacon or ham added).
I have actually acquired a large bag of yellow split peas.
So will do more experimenting.
I do remember that some supermarket used to do "pease pudding" in a tin - I used to often cook it up in a PR office, to the bemusement of my colleagues :smile:
 
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
Oh just to add - with lentils, however long you cook them, you won't be 'boiling good stuff away' as there is no post-cooking water to rinse away and lose the good stuff. It's more like making porridge.
Thanks - after my soaking experiment I did reduce the advised amount of water to cook them in to reduce the excess water. For I figured out that during the soaking they had absorbed a lot of water - judging by the substantial weight increase.
 
I keep a few cans of lentils and some of the pouches that you can microwave.
I have tried packets of soup mix which need overnight soaking, 10mins boil then 50 mins simmer. Ok if you can plan ahead but a few quick options are handy.

I never know which dried pulses need to be soaked then boilled and which you can just add dried to a cooking stew? Any rules?
 
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