Lentils, humble yet versatile legumes, have been a dietary staple for centuries across various cultures. These tiny, lens-shaped seeds pack a nutritional punch and are cherished for their rich flavor, ease of preparation, and adaptability in various dishes. You need to know a few steps to microwave lentils as you cannot just microwave war lentils.
How to microwave Lentils?
To microwave lentils, rinse them, and soak them in water overnight or for at least 2 hours. Put them in a microwave-safe bowl and add water. Use a microwave-safe cover or plastic wrap to cover the container. This helps trap the steam and heat, allowing the lentils to cook faster. Microwave for about 5 minutes. Check-in between, and if required, heat up more.
Microwaving lentils is a quick and convenient way to cook them. Here’s a simple method to microwave lentils:
Rinse the lentils
Start by rinsing the lentils under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer. This helps remove any impurities or debris.
Soak the lentils
Soak the lentils in water overnight. Or if you forgot to soak them last night, soak them for at least 2 hours in hot water. It will help to soften the lentils in a microwave.
Place lentils in a microwave-safe dish
Transfer the rinsed lentils to a microwave-safe dish or bowl. Ensure the dish is large enough to accommodate the lentils and leave space for expansion.
Add water or broth
Pour enough water or broth into the dish to cover the lentils. The ratio is typically 2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of lentils. This can vary depending on your desired consistency.
You can add some seasonings to enhance the flavor of the lentils. Standard options include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or other herbs and spices.
Cover the dish
Place a microwave-safe cover or plastic wrap over the dish to prevent splattering. If using plastic wrap, leave a small vent or opening for steam to escape.
Microwave on high power
Set your high-power microwave and cook the lentils for about 5 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave, so keep an eye on the lentils to avoid overcooking.
Yellow lentils or masoor lentoils cook quickly as compared with green or brown lentils. Keep an eye to avoid them becoming too soft or mushy. The best tase comes when the lentils are soft but still hold their shape.
Stir and continue cooking
Carefully remove the dish from the microwave and stir the lentils. This helps distribute the heat evenly and ensures they cook uniformly. Return the dish to the microwave.
Continue cooking in intervals
Microwave the lentils for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they reach your desired tenderness. Be cautious not to overcook them, as they can become mushy.
Let them stand
Once the lentils are cooked, let them stand in the microwave for a few minutes before removing them. This allows for residual heat distribution and helps avoid burns.
Drain excess liquid (if necessary)
If there’s excess liquid in the dish, carefully drain it using a colander or a fine-mesh strainer. Be cautious as the liquid and lentils will be hot.
Season and serve
Taste the lentils and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add salt, pepper, herbs, or spices to suit your taste. Serve the lentils as a side dish, in salads, or as a base for other recipes.
Cooking times may vary depending on your microwave’s wattage and the desired consistency of the lentils. It’s always a good idea to start with less cooking time and adjust accordingly to avoid overcooking.
Why you should avoid microwaving lentils
Microwaving lentils is generally a convenient and efficient method of cooking. Still, there are a few reasons why some people may choose not to microwave lentils or prefer alternative cooking methods. Here are a few considerations:
Microwaving lentils can sometimes result in a softer texture than other cooking methods. While this may not be a concern for some dishes like soups or stews where a softer texture is desired, if you prefer lentils with a firmer texture, you might opt for stovetop cooking methods instead.
2. Even Cooking
Microwaving can sometimes result in uneven cooking, with certain parts of the lentils being overcooked while others remain undercooked. This can be addressed by stirring the lentils during the cooking process and adjusting cooking times accordingly.
3. Potentially Drying
Microwaving lentils without sufficient liquid can lead to drying out or scorching of the lentils. It’s essential to ensure enough liquid or broth to properly cook the lentils and prevent them from becoming dry or tough.
4. Limited Batch Size
The capacity of microwave-safe dishes may limit the number of lentils you can cook at once. If you need to cook a larger batch, you may need to do it in multiple batches, which can be time-consuming.
5. Personal Preference
Some prefer the taste and texture of lentils cooked using traditional stovetop or pressure cooking methods. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to food, so if you’ve tried microwaving lentils and found that you didn’t enjoy the results, you may choose to explore other cooking methods.
Microwaving Lentils in a Bag
Microwaving lentils in a bag is a quick and easy way to cook them. Here’s how you can do it:
- Rinse the lentils thoroughly and put them in a microwave-safe bag. You can use a special microwave cooking bag or a regular plastic bag that is safe for microwave use.
- Add enough water to cover the lentils. Use about 1 1/2 cups of water for every 1 cup of lentils.
- Seal the bag and place it in the microwave. Make sure to leave a small opening to allow steam to escape.
- Microwave on high for 10-12 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Carefully remove the bag from the microwave and let it cool for a few minutes before opening it. Be careful, as the steam can be hot.
Microwaving lentils in a bag is a great option if you’re short on time or don’t want to use a pot on the stove. It’s also a convenient way to cook lentils if you’re traveling or have no stove access. Just make sure to use a microwave-safe bag and follow the instructions carefully to avoid any accidents.
How to Cook Puy Lentils in Microwave
Cooking puy lentils in the microwave is a quick and easy way to prepare this nutritious legume. Here are the steps to follow:
- Rinse the lentils and remove any debris or stones. Soak the lentils overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- Please place them in a microwave-safe dish.
- Add enough water to cover the lentils by about an inch. You can also add some salt or other seasonings if you wish.
- Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape.
- Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Drain any excess water from the lentils and use them in your favorite recipe.
Cooking times may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave and the amount of lentils you are cooking. It’s best to check the lentils frequently and adjust the cooking time.
Mixing Lentils with Other Foods
When it comes to mixing lentils with other foods, the options are endless. Lentils are versatile ingredients combined with various foods to create a nutritious and tasty meal. Here are some ideas for mixing lentils with other foods:
- Salads: Lentils can be added to salads to add a protein boost. Mix lentils with vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado for a healthy and filling salad.
- Soups: Lentils can be added to soups to make them more filling and nutritious. Try adding lentils to vegetable or chicken soup for a hearty meal.
- Stews: Lentils can be added to stews to add flavor and texture. Mix lentils with vegetables or greens for a tasty stew.
- Rice dishes: Lentils can be mixed with rice to create a nutritious and filling meal. Mix lentils with brown rice and vegetables for a healthy and tasty dish.
- Curries: Lentils can be added to curries to add protein and texture. Mix lentils with vegetables and spices for a flavorful curry.
Remember to experiment with different combinations of lentils and other foods to find your favorite flavor combinations.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to cook lentils in the microwave?
Cooking time for lentils in the microwave can vary depending on the type and quantity of lentils you are cooking. Generally, it takes around 10-15 minutes to cook lentils in the microwave. However, it is best to check the lentils frequently and stir them every few minutes to ensure even cooking.
How to Microwave lentils and rice?
Yes, you can cook lentils and rice together in the microwave. To do so, add the desired amount of lentils and rice to a microwave-safe bowl and enough water to cover them.
Cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils and rice are fully cooked.
How to microwave Lentils curry?
Yes, you can make lentil curry in the microwave. Simply cook them in the microwave as per the instructions, and then add them to a curry sauce of your choice. Microwave the curry on high for 3-5 minutes or until heated.
Always stir in between to avoid the curry splash that can make your microwave dirty.
Cooking green lentils in the microwave?
Green lentils can be cooked in the microwave in the same way as other types. Simply add the desired amount of lentils to a microwave-safe bowl, along with enough water to cover them. Microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked.
Green ones are a bit harder to microwave. Don’t forget to soak them in water overnight. Otherwise, you may not be able to cook them.
How do you cook lentils in the microwave?
To cook lentils in the microwave, add the desired amount of to a microwave-safe bowl, along with enough water to cover them. Microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked. Be sure to check the lentils frequently and stir them every few minutes to ensure even cooking.
Can you heat up lentils in the microwave?
Yes, you can heat lentils in the microwave. Add the desired amount of lentils to a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated.
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