Quick Answer: What Do Lentils Taste Like?
Lentils possess a mild, earthy taste different from the beany taste. Upon cooking, they release a mushy taste. However, the taste of Lentils differs according to each variety, and it ranges from being sweet to nutty to a peppery hot flavor.
This is a comprehensive guide on what lentils taste like.
Let’s dive right in.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are a Legume variety called pulses available in brown, red, green, black, and yellow colors.
They are eaten both fresh and dried after ripening.
Their appearance is like halved dried peas and is the primary ingredient in Middle-Eastern cooking. It is high in protein and low in fat contents.
There are hundreds of awesome recipes possible with lentils, here are some popular ones –
What Do Lentils Taste Like?
Lentils possess a mild, plain, nutty, piquant taste depending on the variety you taste. When cooked, Lentils release a mushy flavor.
Actual taste can change what stage of cooking
Here’s a list of the tastes given by different Lentils;
- Brown Lentils are the most common Lentils available in every grocery store. It provides a mild earthy and creamy taste. Sometimes it gives an organic flavor.
- Green Lentils range from bright green to khaki color and emit a mild hot peppery flavor. They are common in salad preparations.
- Red Lentils release a sweet, nutty-tang taste when you bite into them. Unfortunately, they are not readily available and give a mushy taste after cooking. Nevertheless, they are part of making soups, stews, and curries.
- Black Lentils or Beluga lentils are tiny and are pitch black. They are rich in flavor resembling black beans. They are an excellent choice for salads, garnish, roasting, and purees.
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What is the Texture of Lentils?
Crunchy, gritty, smooth, mealy, and hard are the words associated with explaining the texture of Lentils. However, it varies on the texture of each lentil variety.
Cooked Lentils tend to be mushy, tender, and less firm. Here are the various textures different lentils exhibit;
- Red lentils give a mushy texture when cooked for 15- 20 minutes.
- Brown and green lentils have a flat texture and spilt up once cooked. If you want a good dip or spread, add this variety.
- While cooking, red lentils quickly split their skin and are excellent substitutes for green or brown lentils.
- French Lentils (aka Lentilles du Puy) have a pleasant poppy texture and fit non- mushy dishes. As a result, they don’t get mushy and have a longer cooking time.
- Black lentils have a thick texture and are the best ingredients for salads. However, they have a longer cooking time. Once it gets mushy, they are excellent choices for soups and stews.
Do Lentils Taste Like Meat?
No, they don’t taste like meat but have a neutral taste.
They have a texture that resembles ground meat and can substitute for meaty dishes. However, with the right spices, they give a beefy taste too!
Which Lentils Have The Best Taste?
While the taste is a very personal preference, most people say that Green or puy Lentils are the tastiest ones. In terms of texture and flavor, these are the best. However, it is also expensive.
Moreover, if you want lentils for your stew, choose red lentils to get the thick paste since they are softer.
Do Lentils Taste like Beans?
No! they might have a mild, earthy, and beany flavor but don’t have the same taste.
Bean varieties like the Kidney beans have a more robust flavor that Lentils don’t possess.
What Are Lentils Similar To?
Beans, peas, soy, and fish are excellent lentil substitutes. Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, black, navy, pinto, lima, and fava beans are lentil substitutes for salads and soups. They provide the same taste and health benefits.
Pea soup is another alternative to give the same flavor as lentil soup with ample health benefits.
Fish takes place for a non-vegan who wants a lentil substitute. Salmon, tuna, and herring are the recommended ones that substitute lentils.
What’s the Difference Between Split Peas and Lentils?
Lentils are of different varieties and have a longer cooking time, unlike split peas. Lentils and split peas are excellent choices for healthy cooking. Both peas and lentils have a rich earthy flavor, but they are not the same.
Moreover, the taste of lentils depends on the variety, and split peas have a unique flavor while cooking.
There are two varieties of split pea, such as green and yellow. The green is sweeter than the yellow. On the other hand, Lentils are seeds from the plant pod, and each has its taste. Therefore, green and brown lentils are considered the best for consumption.
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The End Of The Taste!
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