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red lentils

  • s

How are they different from the brown ones? I've never seen a red lentil soup, is there some reason why?

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  1. I believe that they are essentially the same and can be used interchangeably.

    1. f

      They break down faster than the regular brown lentils, so if you substitute them in a recipe that calls for brown lentils, it will take less time for them to cook.

      1 Reply
      1. re: farmersdaughter
        Professor Salt

        This has also been my experience.

        Sandra - you tried my Indian lamb & lentil dish. That was made w/ red lentils, and they broke down completely. While the flavor was fine, I was shooting for lentils to remain intact, and should have used brown ones.

      2. Never seen red lentils used in soup; however, have eaten red lentil dal (an East Indian dish) made by a good friend's grandmother. It's really wonderful if you like Indian spicing.

        Searched for an online recipe by Madhur Jaffrey, and came upon the one linked below. Never had the sweet and sour version, but Jaffrey is a good source if you can find her cookbooks. I'd serve w/ an Indian bread (naan or chapati), curried cauliflower or green beans, raita (a yogurt condiment) for cooling properties. You won't miss the meat...

        Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/dat...

        1. Red lentils work better in a puree. Green/french lentils hold their shape best and work well in salads.

          1. I've seen lots of red lentils in soup. They break down almost completely and turn yellowish when cooked. Eat the thick puree with lots of lemon and some pita bread. Really good stuff for a cold winter's day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jujubee

              Definitely love the lemon idea, also adding some fresh mint just before serving.

              You can find this soup regularly in Turkish restaurants, or do a search for Turkish Red Lentil Soup recipes. Good stuff!

            2. s
              Simon Majumdar

              we have a very simple family recipe for Bengali Dhal with lemons which is worth trying

              You can use any number of variations of spices, but try this one for starters

              1 & 1/2 cups washed red lentils
              1 white onion chopped
              2 cloves garlic peeled
              1in fresh ginger peeled
              2 red chillies chopped and de-seeded
              2 small unwaxed lemons quartered
              1 large whole chilli pricked with a fork
              3-4 cups water ( more if needed - this is a watery soup)

              1 tsp Panch Phoron ( Bengali mix of whole fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seed ) OPTIONAL

              1 tsp ground ginger
              1 tsp ground turmeric
              1 tsp ground mustard ( coleman's is fine )

              3 tblspn vegetable oil or ghee


              Place the ginger and garlic in a blender with a little salt and water and blend to a paste.

              Heat the oil/ghee in a pan and add the panch phoron. Saute for a minute or so until the seeds begin to pop.

              Add the chilli and saute gently until they release their flavour

              Add the onions and saute until it begins to colour

              Add the dry spices and cook for two mins or so until they lose their rawness. If it begins to stick, add a tsp or so of water

              Add the lentils and stir well in the spice mixture.

              Add the water and stir well.

              Add the lemons

              Add the whole chilli ( pricking with a fork allows it to release flavour without too much heat )

              Cook gently for c45 mins ( it can be prepared more quickly, but the longer you cook, the better - you can leave it in a slow cooker all day and,like many things, it is better served reheated the next day)

              Add more water if needed to keep a soupy consistency.

              Serve the lemony water in glasses first and then serve the dhal with plain boiled rice or a paratha.

              Hope this helps


              1. what exactly do the color codes of lenils mean? Do they all taste the same? I enjoyed them when in India but don't recall the color.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Fluff

                  >>"what exactly do the color codes of lenils mean?"

                  the color is not code, just the color of the bean. texturally they cook up differently. they don't taste the same.

                  french de puy (green) lentils make the best soups--velvety without losing their shapes. (and not looking drab brown.)

                2. c
                  culinary nerd

                  Red lentils are brown lentils that have been skinned.

                  That is why they cook faster and break down into a puree.