Y’ever have that experience where a food you thought you hated ends up becoming a favorite? If you have, you know the kind of “is that really me” sensation that goes with it. That’s me with lentils. Annnnd I kind of feel like a dufus about it. To give some credit to Past Risa, I still don’t care for one kind of lentil unless it’s with sausage, so it’s not that PR was *wrong* – more, uh, misinformed.
Seriously, I always used to think I hated lentils. I even thought I’d given them a few different tries, in case it was the recipe. After all, when I was a kid, my mom adored Progresso lentil soup. I tried it but ugh – never liked the stuff. As an adult I sampled other versions of lentil soup but the only time I could stomach it was when it included sausage.
So what changed things? Well, much to my embarrassment, I only discovered there is more than one kind of lentil a few years ago. This is particularly surprising to me given I used to be vegan.
Therefore, armed with the knowledge that the three kinds taste quite different, I determined that green lentils are the offender, and decided to try red and black lentils.
*insert cookcookcook montage*
And oh mai are red lentils GOOOOD. I’ve tried them in several recipes and so far, cooking them in coconut milk is the big winner. They’re still awesome with simple cumin and cardamom seasoning, though, and they make a hell of a croquette.
Black lentils are all right – at least, the urad dal I tried are all right. A bit too mealy for my preference, but fine for dinner with lots of seasoning. I am going to try another brand and see if there might be a difference.
So yeah! Now I’m a big lentil fan. Who knew? Maybe it’s time for me to revisit kidney beans and coffee…