December 26, 2018 9:35 pm Leave your thoughts
Who knew?! We sell brown lentils at Naturally Good Food. They’re little round pellets – light-brown in colour and generally a bit speckled. Occasionally, there’ll be a tinge of orange around one of them. If they crack open – or split – the orange becomes much more apparent. They’ve got a fairly mild, earthy flavor and cook within about 20 to 30 minutes.
Red split lentils are half-pellets: whole lentils that have been split in half, with their outer skins removed. They’re orange (sometimes bright orange, sometimes much duller – it depends on the particular batch). Red split lentils cook faster than whole lentils, but don’t keep their shape, boiling down to a reddy-yellowish mush.
There are many, many different types and shades of lentils worldwide. In the UK, however, we tend to use just four or five varieties. Some of those are more closely connected than their names suggest…
If you split our brown lentils, you get red split lentils. If you’re wondering whether you can substitute brown lentils for red in a recipe (or vice versa), the answer is that you can. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time, though.
If you receive a bulk sack of our brown lentils and notice that it’s labelled ‘red lentils’ – don’t panic! The lentils will be whole red lentils (aka….brown!).
A rainbow of lentils
Had enough of brown and red? Naturally Good Food also sells:
- Green lentils: with a more robust, earthy flavour
- Puy (also known as French-type): a particularly sought-after variety of lentil, grey-green and peppery in taste, keeping their shape well once cooked
- Black Beluga lentils: a really interesting variety of lentil, which hold their shape well and resemble (slightly!) Beluga caviar, with a glossy exterior and a somewhat creamy inside.
Whatever their colour, lentils are all extremely good for you, as well as being tasty and easy to cook with. Mixing different lentils in a dish can bring a range of colour and texture to your cooking, adding visual interest and greater nutrition.
Try this Three-lentil bake, for instance (inspired, a long time ago, by a comment on Radio 4’s The Archers):
To see all our lentils, click here.black beluga lentils, brown lentils, French type lentils, green lentils, Pulses, puy lentils, red split lentils, whole red lentils
This post was written by Yzanne