Lentils In Rice Cooker
It was astounding for me to come across the fact that people cook lentils in a rice cooker. Well, rice cookers are versatile and let you cook a variety of cuisines with ultimate convenience.
I’m using a cooker for cooking different types of lentils and lentil-rice dishes, and the results are amazing. The cooker steams the lentils properly, and they taste palatable.
But how to cook lentils in a rice cooker is a question, since most of the recipes out there are pretty confusing and fussy, and this is what I found while searching for one.
So, here in this post, I’ve explained the recipe that I love using to cook lentils in a cooker.
Different types of Lentils
Before I share the recipe with you, it is essential to understand different types of lentils since it’ll impact the cooking process. Some lentils may require more cooking time than others.
Pink lentils taste amazing when added to stews and soups. They break down easily, and a small cooking time frame is enough to form a thick paste. Also, the consistency and taste are a bit similar to yellow lentils.
Also known as Beluga lentils, black lentils have a strong flavor and aroma. You may not find them in the nearest local store, but it is worth trying them.
You can use black lentils for sprinkling on savory snacks to add a crunch and deliciousness. Cooking black lentils may need more time when compared to pink lentils.
Green lentils are the smallest among all lentils, but they require more time to cook. I don’t recommend using them in stews and soups because forming a thick paste is a bit challenging.
Soaking green lentils isn’t always necessary, but if you want to curtail the cooking time, put them in a pan with some water for a few hours.
Yellow lentils are similar to pink lentils and break down easily to form a thick paste, making them ideal for soups and stews. Furthermore, yellow lentils have higher amounts of fiber and taste good.
These different lentils have different properties, and that has a significant impact on the cooking time. Make sure to choose the right cooking time depending on the types of lentils you are using.
How to Cook Lentils in Rice Cooker
Cooking lentils in a rice cooker is a breeze, just like cooking rice. Here are the following items and ingredients you need before you start:
- Two cups of water
- One cup of lentils (or more depending on your requirements)
- A strainer
- A bowl
- A spoon
Step 1: Rinse the Lentils
Rinsing the lentils is essential to wash off the debris and other contaminants. Just like you rinse the rice before cooking, wash the lentils into a bowl. Keep washing them until the water in the bowl becomes clear.
Now, strain the water and get the lentils ready for the next step.
Step 2: Soak Them (if Required)
If you are cooking yellow or pink lentils, then there’s no need to soak them. But if you are cooking green or black lentils, soaking is essential.
Also, soaking the lentils depends on the type of dish you are going for. If you want a paste, then soak them more, but if you want to retain their crunch, soak them for less time.
Step 3: Add the Lentils to the Rice Cooker
Before adding lentils to the cooker, pour some water so that the lentils don’t directly hit the hard surface. For every cup of lentils, consider adding two cups of water. If you want to prepare two cups of lentils, add four cups of water.
Step 4: Add Seasonings (Only if required)
If you want to cook the lentils for soups, then there’s no need to add seasoning. But if you want to have them with salads or sprinkle them on meat, adding seasoning is a good idea. Lentils absorb the flavor quickly, so be sure while using garlic, spices, and other ingredients.
I don’t recommend adding salt while cooking the lentils because it makes the cooking process harder.
Step 5: Turn the Cooker On
Now, mix the lentils using a spoon, and close the cooker’s lid. Set the timer to 40 minutes, depending on the type of lentils you are looking to cook.
Don’t open the lid multiple times to check the lentils, as the steam will ooze out, and cooking them will take more time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I cook rice with lentils in a rice cooker?
A: Yes, you can cook rice with lentils as well, but that requires following a different recipe. Here’s a YouTube video that my friend recommended using to cook lentils with rice.
Q: Can I add salt while cooking lentils?
A: Adding salt and other ingredients with acidic properties isn’t great for adding when cooking lentils in a rice cooker. You can add the salt after cooking them.
Q: Should I stir the lentils while they’re getting cooked?
A: Yes, you can stir lentils after some time. I also mix them after they spend 20 minutes in the cooker. Stir them once only, as opening the lid multiple times will let the steam out, and cooking will take more time than usual.
With this quick recipe, you can cook lentils in a rice cooker with ease. Just follow the steps one by one, and you’ll have a bowl full of delicious and healthy lentils to eat.
Furthermore, there are a few things to keep in mind when cooking lentils. They absorb the water and swell up, so don’t overload the rice cooker with lentils and water.
Also, it is advised to have the best rice cooker that’s easy to use and has multiple cooking modes. Lastly, there’s one more thing to keep in mind, and that’s the seasoning.
Some people add a few drops of oil and spices to the water and lentil mixture. But that isn’t always necessary.