I am needing ideas on cooking lentils, as I tried before and they did not come out so good,
Can anyone give me imput as to what I am doing wrong. Anything would be appricated.
I like to put fresh lemon juice/peel on brown or green cooked or raw soaked and sprouted lentils and add onions, mushrooms, and brown rice for a nice dish. I just cook lentils one part lentils to three parts water and make sure all the water is absorbed (usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes), then add them to other dishes. If you make lentil soup you can cook them in broth or water with your veggies and other soup additions. I have used raw lentils also and soaked them for 24 hours, then rinsed and sprouted them for a few days and added them to raw salads or collard leaf wraps with other stuff too.
Red lentils (cooked the same way but less cooking time needed) go very well with tomato sauce and veggies/seasonings for a thick rich spaghetti/Italian sauce. They also work well with bulgur wheat and tomato paste/seasonings for a "sloppy joe" sandwich or a variation of the same thing with different spices for taco filling. Red lentils tend to be more mushy and do not hold their shape as well as brown or green ones but they go so well in other dishes. I think lentils on their own can be slightly bland but I have had success with brown lentils with the lemon juice/peel and cracked ground pepper by itself.
Yellow lentils/split peas go nicely with mango for a yellow lentil/split pea mango dahl over rice or quinoa. Red lentils make a nice Indian dahl also. The variations on what you can do with lentils are endless. I rarely eat them by themselves. I think you can even add red lentils to baked goods for a boost of texture and protein.
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"Too bland and watered down. I did not like the texture."
Sounds to me like you may have overcooked them? Split lentils will turn to mush if boiled too much. That's a great feature for using in soup. However if you want to avoid that, then keep your eye on them in the last fifteen minutes of cooking and test to see when they're done to your liking. Then gently drain in a fine sieve.
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Red lentils will always be mushy, while lentils de puy, French green lentils and black beluga lentils retain more firmness when fully cooked. You can look for other varieties of lentils in the international/Hispanic section of your grocery store, or at Indian or other specialty groceries.
As far as flavoring, try cooking them in broth instead of water. Otherwise, you can really season them however you like depending on how you are going to use them. I have an awesome lentil soup recipe that uses salt, black pepper, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Indian spices are good too -- garam masala on its own can be quite nice for a quick Indian-style meal with basmati rice.
Let us know how it goes!
My favourite way is the South Asian "dhal" type preparation.
But there are many variations: