Are you confused sometimes on whether you need to soak green lentils or not? You may have a gut feel of what soaking would do to them, but maybe you are not completely sure. If so this post is for you.
Ok, does soaking green lentils matter? Well, the answer is…that it depends on
1) what do you want to make with it?
2) it also depends on your taste preference.
Let me explain…
So, I took green lentils…
I soaked one set overnight and the other I kept it dry for cooking straight up (no soaking).
Lets look at the 2 methods one by one.
I drained the overnight soaked lentils…
and added them to the instant pot (WITH SALT ) and set it for 4 minutes of Instant Pot pressure cooking.
I used only 1:1 water ratio (because it has already soaked up water).
It came out looking this this…
Just look at the fully bloomed lentils, and they are oh-so-soft to the touch…
Look how squishy they are, even the skin is falling apart almost…
It is ven-pongal level soft and creamy. With the salt added, it was quite tasty, I was spooning a few mouthfuls as I was shooting for the post. Yum!!
So, soaking is a great option for older adults who have difficulty digesting. It is great for making pongal or khichdi. Or even hummus, I can imagine….Not so great for salads or stir-fries., for that we have the next: no-soak method.
So, after 12 minutes of Instant pot pressure, with 1:1.5 water ratio and salt added, it came out slightly undercooked and with extra water.
That was a bit disappointing and also a little surprising since I knew that with 12 minutes, just the previous day, the lentils had cooked perfectly without salt. However adding the salt made it a little harder for the lentils to absorb the water (salty water outside, osmosis action reduced – you know our 8th grade science stuff).
So, anyway, I put it back in the Instant Pot for 2 more minutes of pressure…and behold…
Look at that…they look like beautiful pearls standing individually, but also fully cooked. These are perfect for salads, stir fries.
I even made sandwiches, shown in the Pinterest video below.
So, in conclusion…
- If you like old-style – soft and supremely cooked – go for soaked lentils
- If you want the lentils to cook in 1/3 of regular time (just 4 minutes), go for soaked lentils.
On the other hand:
- If you want individual lentils standing out like pearls – go for un-soaked lentils.
- Unsoaked lentils also need a longer time to cook (12 minutes without salt, 14 min with salt). So, keep that into account.
What can you make with green lentils?? They are damn tasty. You can make a sundal, put them in pongal, or make sandwiches like the one shown below. I have also used them in taco bowls instead of black beans and they are perfect in there as well.
So, go on add these wonderful protein filled, fiber filled ingredient to your weekly menu!! Hope this info was useful to you. Share your experience with cooking lentils below.