I feel like making some mujadara, but the only lentils I've got currently are red lentils - no green or brown lentils. Many recipes I've read have specifically said that red lentils are to be avoided, as they will lend themselves to a mushy consistency.

I understand that red lentils take less time to cook than green or brown lentils, but I don't understand why they supposedly won't work for mujadara. Would adding them into the pot with the rice later than most recipes call for work well? Since that would result in them cooking for less time. I ask in part because if substituting for red lentils in this way were so simple, I'd expect recipes would note it as a substitution, rather than specifically cautioning against it.

1 Answer 1


I think red lentils are just the insides of green/brown lentils. Without the seed coat, they disintegrate very quickly. That’s desirable for some applications but I think it would be a little unsatisfying in a mujadara where I enjoy the textural contrast between softer rice and more toothsome lentils.

  • 1
    This is partly, or mostly right. The red lentils that a typically sold are hulled and split and their hulls are greenish-brown. But you might be able to find hulled red lentils. And not all lentils have red insides (technically called the cotyledon). Some cotyledons are yellow or green.
    – Juhasz
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 21:23
  • Yeah, this is correct. If you cook red lentils together with rice, they just become mushy, red rice.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 0:07

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