Do you enjoy lentils? And do you want to utilize a rice cooker to make the cooking process more comfortable? Perhaps cooking lentils on a stovetop makes you annoyed as you have to keep an eye out for the temperature and water level. So, how properly to cook lentils in a rice cooker? Without further ado, let’s get acquainted with the cooking process in our guide.
A few words about lentils and their benefits
Lentils are a type of legume, meaning that they relate to the same kind as peas, beans, and chickpeas. They are one of the oldest grains, and one of the healthiest.
But how much a nutrient is there in lentils? Lentils are considered to be a superfood and are full of high amounts of protein and other nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. Also, they contain large amounts of vitamin B. Lentils contain the same amount of protein as meat.
Moreover, lentils are an essential origin of the fiber. Just a half cup of cooked lentils contains almost 8 grams of fiber. They are cholesterol free and very low in sugar and fat.
They are one of the most multi-purpose pantries’ basic food and can be made into a salad, soup, burger, or single dish.
Can you use lentils in a healthy diet?
A high keeping of food fiber in lentils will contribute that you normalize your blood sugar status and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Eating lentils with a high content of fiber and protein, and low fat and sugar, and gluten-free is a great way to get thin.
As mentioned above, it’s enough for a half glass of cooked lentils to ensure you with about 30% of your daily consumption of fiber, and their protein level is sufficient to keep you going all day long. Lentils are also rich in folic acid, which is an important nutrient during pregnancy.
Lentils can be used as a substitute for animal proteins, which is one of their main advantages. It is common knowledge that increasing your fiber consumption and decreasing your fat consumption is a huge health benefit.
Also, lentils retain taste well, so they are a very versatile culinary ingredient. They can be made into cutlets, used as a base for soups, and added to salads. They are also great for a taco filling.
So, we found out that lentils are wholesome, versatile, and inexpensive. But how can you properly cook them in a rice cooker? But, before we dive into the process, it’s worth taking a glance at the diverse types of lentils you can purchase.
Types of lentils
There is a vast variety of lentils with various blooms, structures, features, and preparation times. Therefore, it is essential to regulate your cooking time and select the proper variety depending on the required consistency. Some of the more general types are listed below.
1. Green and brown lentils
Green lentils (or French lentils) have a spicy flavor. They match salads or any course where you wish them to keep their form. On the contrary, green lentils aren’t fit for soups or puree.
Green lentils are rich in zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. This variety will take a little longer time for cooking, especially if you decide not to soak it.
The green lentil is most often sold in groceries. It has a nutty taste like whole peas, but with a firmer frame than split peas.
Brown lentils are universal lentils. From these beans, you can cook not only side dishes, but also magnificent first courses, and even salads. The flavor of brown lentils is mild, nutty, and earthy.
2. The French green lentils or Le Puy lentils
Another type of green lentil is the French green lentil or Le Puy lentil.
Le Puy lentils are cropped in the Le Puy region in France and are famous for their great flavor and firm structure. French green lentils are one of the most expensive sorts of lentils.
In the raw state, this variety has black-green skin with a marble pattern. The inside of the beans is bright green. When boiled, the color changes to light brown. They are smaller and rounder compared with other types, and they have a firmer structure. Therefore, they are perfect for salads.
At the same time, you can use them in those dishes where you wish the beans to retain their form, not vice versa.
3. Black lentils or Beluga lentils
The name Beluga comes from beluga caviar, which has an ideal lenticular form, plain, glossy, and dark. This sort has a taste like black peas and a groundy flavor.
Beluga lentils are the rarest variety compared to other sorts of lentils. But this one is worth a try.
This variety of lentils is an amazing fit with other protein and vegetable courses. With black lentils, you can cook not only soups, vegetable stews, side dishes, and salads, but also sauces and sweet dishes. It can decorate almost any dish. Like other sorts of lentils, they can be mashed or fried.
4. Red lentils
There are two varieties of red lentils: whole and split red lentils (or yellow lentils). Whole red lentils are red, but split lentils are similar to orange-colored. The second kind of lentil, with the skin deleted, causes them to disintegrate faster than the first kind.
This is why split lentils easily lose their form and are used for mixing into foods or as a base for soups. They have a milder and sweeter flavor than green lentils. When they ripen, they transform into corn-colored.
It is a legume that has been dried. It gets its name from the way the peas separate when they are dry. Only their outer layer leaves behind after this process, which turns mottled yellow when cooked.
The yellow split lentil is the most popular variety of lentils in Europe and North America. In many countries in Asia and the Indian subcontinent, both red lentils and yellow split peas are favored for dal.
5. Pink lentils
This variety is often used in stews, as they crumble fast when prepared and form a smooth paste. Pink lentils are close in flavor and structure to yellow lentils.
Step-by-step guide on how to cook lentils in a rice cooker
So, we are about to answer our primary question: how to cook lentils in a rice cooker?
All in all, any rice cooker, even a complex one, is just like a large pan for cooking rice and other legumes with an attached timer. Certainly, these are completely different things, but the versatility of these two kitchen equipment items is significant.
Just like various rice kinds demand various ratios of water to cook rice in rice cookers, various types of lentils may demand various ratios of water and preparation time.
Below is the conventional recipe for how to cook lentils in rice cookers. It is recommended to regulate the amount of water by how hard the lentils should be.
- 1 glass of dried lentils
- 2 glasses of water
- A spoon
- A rice cooker
Most varieties of lentils do not require soaking before preparing.
Pro tip: it would be better to spread lentils on the table to verify small stones or undesirable trash before rinsing them under cold water.
Some easy steps for getting your yummy nutritious lentils
Step 1: Rinse lentils
Lentils do not demand soaking before preparing, which makes them fine pieces of other legumes. But you need to wash them with cold water to remove all the dirt and undesirable debris, then drain them.
Step 2: Move to the rice cooker pot
After rinsing the lentils, you should dry them for a couple of minutes to get off the redundant water. In the meantime, you can drizzle the inner pan with a bed of cooking oil before laying all the pulses. Oil will bring a radiant lentil after preparation. Olive oil is preferable for this.
Step 3: Close down a cover, plug in, and turn on the rice cooker
You should shut the lid of the rice cooker and plug it in.
Next, switch on the rice cooker and set the timer to your desired cooking time. Most rice cookers have a set time, which is between 20 and 30 minutes.
Step 4: mix the lentils up
Upon halfway through the cooking time, you should turn up the cover and mix it up with a spoon. Verify the firmness of the lentils and whether they are mild enough. Also, you can set the pulses.
Step 5: Ending cooking
When the cooking time has gone off, mix up the lentils again and feed them with your favorite dishes.
Is cooking lentils in a rice cooker different from cooking on the stovetop?
In rice cookers, you can both boil and steam food. The stovetop works similarly. The only difference is that you can regulate the amount of heat, i.e. keep it at a constant boiling or reduce it to boiling.
The issue with preparing lentils on the stove is that you have to see after them.
If the heat is too strong, the lentils can gum up the bottom of the pan or foam and overflow. While a rice cooker has a more controllable temperature rather than a stovetop.
However, you may not be quite satisfied with the lentil consistency you receive from a rice cooker. It may not be as mild as you like, and it won’t have an identical taste when slow-cooked on a stovetop.
Pro tip: it is advisable to take the rice cooker way if you just need to alleviate the lentils. For seasoning, and preparing to the desired consistency, use the stovetop way. As an alternative, you can alleviate the pulses in a rice cooker and then bring the dish to readiness on the stove.
What are some delicious lentil recipes?
There is a vast variety of lentil recipes to cook delicious dishes. For instance, it can be a salad, stew, puree, burger, patties, lentil chili, dal rice, etc. You can also throw them in any recipe that demand cooked beans.
Lentils can be perfectly cooked in many methods. They can be simmered in water or bouillon, prepared in a pressure pot, and baked in the oven. Once they’re prepared, they can be used in a wide range of delicious recipes.
Lentil chili is a different widespread choice and can be prepared with red lentils. Lentil soup is a popular mess that can be cooked with various spices as well.
As everyone knows, vegetarians eat lentils as essential ingredients and use them as an animal protein substitute.
So regardless of how you cook them, tender lentils are an excellent and beneficial choice for your innumerable dishes.
Lentils preparation tips:
Even if cooking is easy as pie, there are some tips for you to use your cooking time:
- As a rule, lentils are doubled or tripled in size: it differs from rice in that lentils rise 2-3 times. So, it’s worth keeping in mind the holding capacity of your rice cooker and the volume of lentils after the rise.
- During cooking, control the amount of water – lentils absorb it very quickly.
- You should verify the cup size of your rice cooker, as well as the regulation time if your lentils are under or over the normal cooking measure.
- Eyeball estimation. Apart from the conventional dose of lentils and water, there is an otherwise method to review the proper water level. The water level should be about one inch above the top of the lentils.
- Mix up when the time passes a half. You should mix up the lentils to verify their hardness and prepare them smoothly.
- Condiment after cooking. It is not recommended to throw in salt or any acidic products like lemon juice while cooking lentils in a rice cooker. It is because they cause the lentil skins to go harsh, and they take a longer time to prepare. So, if you like, you can add them at the end, after cooking is complete.
- Boiling time. Except for red and black lentils, other kinds of lentils require 15 to 20 minutes to prepare. To do this, you can leave your stove on “warm” a little longer than red and black lentils when cooking other varieties of lentils.
Are the lentils bad?
Raw lentils contain a type of protein called lectin, which, unlike other proteins, causes various toxic reactions such as vomiting and diarrhea. The seed coat of lentils contains tannin, which gives it a bitter taste. But it is removed when cleaning.
Despite all its benefits, the fiber in lentils is difficult to break down. That’s why it can cause gas and gripes if you eat too much.
What is the ratio of lentils to water in rice cooker?
The general ratio of lentils to water is 1:2. However, as mentioned above, the level of water also depends on the varieties of lentils and how solid lentils you want.
As a rule, the brown and green varieties contain their form well, whereas the hulled and, especially, split red lentils tend to disintegrate. Therefore, you can decrease or enhance the water to retain its form or emolliate it to your savor.
Can you use a rice cooker to cook lentils?
Based on the above, sure, you can use a rice cooker to cook lentils! In addition to rice, you can cook delicious dishes in it, from beans, peas, and, of course, lentils.
How much water do I use for 1 cup of lentils?
By cooking on a stove, the general ratio of lentils to water is 1:3. So, you need 3 glasses of water to 1 glass of dried lentils.
As noted above, by preparing lentils in a rice cooker, generally you need to add 2 glasses of water for every glass of dry lentils. You also need to throw a little oil in the pan to prevent the lentils from adhering.
Do lentils need to be soaked first?
No, lentils do not require it, as they’re cooked pretty fast. Cooking lentils without soaking them first can help you receive more regulation over their structure and consistency.
However, they can be soaked to diminish preparation time by about half.
What can I throw in lentils for aroma?
For aroma, you can throw a bay leaf and other aromatics in the water. You just need to bring the lentils to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer until they are mild.
Below are some variants that will help to give a unique aroma by flavoring your lentils, especially if you are preparing them as a garnish.
- Bay leaves
- Палочка корицы
- Свежие травы
- Оливковое масло
- Чесночный порошок
- Свежий чеснок
- Чайная ложка соли
Какой самый здоровый способ приготовить чечевицу?
Чечевицу рекомендуется готовить в рисоварке, так как этот способ приготовления, безусловно, самый полезный. Использование этого метода позволяет сохранить питательные вещества в бобовых и предотвратить их переваривание.
Сколько времени нужно варить чечевицу в рисоварке?
Как правило, на приготовление чечевицы в обычной рисоварке уходит около 40 минут. Если вы используете многофункциональную рисоварку с зерновым режимом, вы можете сократить время приготовления.
Таким образом, приготовление чечевицы в рисоварке — это простое и удобное занятие, которое вы можете получить на кухне и, как следствие, насладиться вкусными блюдами из чечевицы в рисоварке.
Мы надеемся, что приведенное выше руководство даст вам ценную информацию о чечевице и о том, как правильно приготовить чечевицу в рисоварке.