Orange lentils, also known as red lentils or orange dal, are a delicious protein source perfect for those of us looking to cut out meat. As compared to brown and green lentils, orange lentils have a much softer texture and are generally much smaller in size. They quickly grow mushy and often lose some of their bright color as they cook, forming a pale orange paste. Luckily, the paste is delicious.
Health Benefits of Orange Lentils
Lentils are a protein powerhouse and are also a good source of iron, making them an ideal addition to the diets of vegetarians. They're also an excellent source of folic acid and soluble fiber. They are packed full of vitamin E, and they're excellent foods to include in diets of those dealing with heart disease risks as well as diabetes.
How to Cook Orange Lentils
Cooking orange lentils is much like cooking brown lentils. First, it's important to sort the lentils, discarding any that are wrinkly and especially any small stones that may have gotten thrown into the mix. Next, rinse the lentils in a fine strainer. Fill the pot with 1.5 volumes of water as compared to the lentils, and cook them over medium heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to keep them at a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until lentils mashed with the back of a spoon form a paste. Drain the lentils, and serve them as you wish!
Delicious Orange Lentil Recipes
Here are some of our very favorite ways to cook and serve orange lentils:
- Curried masoor dal is a traditional Indian dish. Follow our basic guidelines, or take a look at a recipe, if you need further inspiration.
- Try a traditional Ramadan favorite, orange lentil soup, flavored with cumin.
- Add orange flavor to your orange lentils, with coriander and orange red lentil soup.
- Let lentils play with spring veggies, with grilled asparagus with red lentil purée, mint and yogurt.
- Walk like an Egyptian, with Egyptian red lentil purée.
Image: Jules Stonesoup