Lentils are considered the third highest protein food element as they are rich in vitamins as well as fiber. Cooked lentils can be served as a side dish to a variety of different meals including roasted meat or fish. They can also be served with vegetarian options like tofu.
However, if you’re in a hurry and want to cook the lentils within a short time, you can simply use your rice cooker. It also requires less effort where cooking pans will take away both your time and energy. So, let’s check the post to know How to Cook Lentils in Rice Cooker with some easy and simple steps.
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How to Cook Lentils in Rice Cooker | Step By Step Process
Using a rice steamer or cooker to prepare the lentils is a simple and easiest way to do it. Just follow these easy steps to prepare your favourite lentils without much more trouble.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before you start your cooking, there is a list of some ingredients that you’ll need to complete your dish.
- 1 cup of dried lentil (red, green or brown)
- 2 cups cold water
- Strainer or colander
- Wooden spoon
- A clean container or bowl
For seasoning your Lentils, you’ll need these following ingredients right below.
- Salt (according to your taste)
- Extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil 1 tablespoon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Turmeric powder ½ tablespoon
- 1/2 teaspoon or 1/4 teaspoon of freshly chopped herbs (optional)
- Chili powder ½ tablespoon
Step-1: Rinse the Lentils
At first, it is necessary to wash the lentils properly with cold water. Place the lentils in a strainer in the sink and rinse them with hands until it seems dirt free. After washing the lentils, turn off the water and gently shake the strainer to encourage excess water to drip out.
Note: do not soak the lentils before cooking. Most dried beans and other dried legumes need to be soaked for a while to soften them. This also helps to remove some of the compounds known to cause digestive upset. Lentils, however, not recommended for pre-soaking, as they will become mushy if allowed to soak.
Step-2: Season the Lentils
Next, put out your clean lentils from the colander and place them into a clean bowl. Add all the ingredients such as olive oil or sunflower oil, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, and ground black pepper. Mix all the ingredients properly using your hand or you can use a wooden spoon to complete the task. Make sure that, all lentils are finely coated with spices. Once it is done, your lentils are now ready for cooking.
Step-3: Start Cooking
- Place the inner pot into the cooker and pour the lentils into the pot.
- Add the correct amount of water to the lentils.
- Turn off the lid of the cooker and press the “cook” button.
- Let it cook for around 30 minutes, you can set the timer to avoid a blunder.
- After 15 minutes of cooking, you need to open the lid and stir the mixture again with a long wooden spoon.
- Wait until the “cook” switch turns into “Warm” automatically which means your cooking is done.
- Allow the lentils to rest in the cooker for five minutes after they have stopped cooking.
- Open the lid and stir the lentils with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the lentils carefully into a serving bowl and serve them while hot. You can decorate your favourite lentils using coriander leaves.
Traditional way To Cook the Lentils
The most commonly used process for cooking lentils is boiling which requires a stove, a cooking pot, and water. Check the recipe right below.
Things that you need for this Classic Recipe
- 1 cup dried lentils (red, green, or brown)
- 2 cups cold purified water
- Measuring cups
- Small cooking pot and
Firstly, pour 1 cup dried lentils out on a bright, flat surface. Pick through the lentils, sorting out any bits of soil, rocks, or other debris as you run across them.
Wash the lentils with tap water to ensure they are dirt-free. You can use a strainer or a small bowl for this step. Pour out the water as much as you can.
Place the clean lentils into a small cooking pot and add 2 cups of water. Cover the pot with a lid and bring it to the stove.
Place the pot on the stove-top and start cooking at medium fire. Once the water starts to boil and simmer rapidly, lower the fire setting until the water is simmering gently.
Let the lentils cook uncovered until they are done. Keep an eye on the lentils while cooking. If needed, add more water during the cooking time. Be sure to add enough water so that the lentils are just barely covered.
Note: older lentils may take the longest cooking time.
To check the tenderness and texture of the lentils, use a fork to get a few lentils from the pot and taste them. They are done if they are tender and firm but no longer crunchy. However, if your lentils are not yet ready, wait for 5 more minutes before doing another test.
Add salt (according to your test) and acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar when cooking is done. You can also add spices like curry powder, ground cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, or chili pepper, as well as herbs like cilantro or parsley.
- You can add your cooked lentils to soups and salads.
- You can even store the cooked lentils in the refrigerator for an average of one week.
- For more flavour, brown a clove of garlic in a small sauté pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add the browned garlic to the rice cooker along with the extra virgin olive oil.
It is always a good idea to modify your lentil recipe. You can attempt to add vegetables such as potatoes, carrots or broccoli to make your dish tastier. You can also use chicken stock and vegetable stock instead of using water that will make your recipe healthier.