Tuesday, 22 October 2013 22:40

Three favorite easy lentil recipes

The beauty of easy lentil recipes

Even though they don’t look as attractive as other foods when cooked, there is great beauty in lentils. They come in many sizes and colors and feature just as many flavors. Red, yellow, brown, green… they all taste differently and all make for a delicious quick meal following one of these easy lentil recipes as they cook faster than other legumes.

The many uses of lentils in easy lentil recipes

You can use them in heavy winter stews, in light summer salads, in exotic southeast Asian dishes, in flavorful Indian curries, in soups and dips and spreads.

You may also see the word Dal – it is the Indian term for split (often skinned) peas, beans or lentils or even a dish made using them. Split lentils turn softer during cooking and are often used for soups or purees – which make for a wonderfully comforting easy lentil recipe.

Whole brown and green lentils are especially tasty in salads as they stay firm and have an earthy, almost nutty flavor. One particularly tasty easy lentil recipe is for a  lentil-leek-pear salad.

Easy lentil recipe for lentil-leek-pear salad

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 250 grams of brown or green lentils, rinsed and simmered for 15-20 minutes (careful not to overcook them)
  • a stalk of leek, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh pears or one small can cut into cubes

Mix all carefully and add dressing

For the dressing: combine juice of 1 large lemon, several spoons of olive oil, 1 clove of finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger

To garnish: one handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

easy lentil recipe for salad

Red lentils go beautifully with coconut – try this fast & easy soup

Easy lentil recipe for red lentil-coconut soup

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 200 grams of red (orange) lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Oil to fry the onions
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 700 ml vegetable broth (about 1 ½ stock cube)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric, ½ tea spoon ground cumin, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar, chili (optional)

Fry onions in a few tablespoons of oil,

add lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk and broth

simmer for about 20 minutes, add spices towards the end

easy lentil recipe for curries

For a lentil curry you can use any kind of lentils

Easy lentil recipe for lentil curry

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 250 grams of lentils, rinsed and cooked until soft
  • TIP: add a dash of vinegar to cooking water, this way you’ll need less salt later on
  • 1 large onion, chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder
  • salt, chili (optional)

fry the onion, add garlic, ginger and curry and stir until fragrant

add lentils

to get a smoother texture, add some condensed milk, coconut milk or vegetable both

add salt an chili and a pinch of sugar (optional)

if you want a smooth dip or spread, put in blender

And once you’ve gotten used to the basics of cooking with lentils, there are no limits to the number of easy lentil recipes you can come up with, trying different vegetables and spices in them. Blend them, mix them, chill them, heat them… The convenience of lentil dishes: they keep well in the fridge, often developing even more flavor and freeze fantastically. For salads it’s fun to experiment with fruit (fresh, dried or canned) as their sweetness compliments the earthy flavors of any easy lentil recipe.

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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