I'm new to the forum and new to cooking lentils. I bought a bag of lentils at the store and all it says is "lentils". Now understanding that there's different kinds of lentils, with different applications, I'm not sure what I'm working with here. Is there a standardized lentil sold in American grocery stores? Mine are an undescribable color of greenish/yellow, some around round in shape, while some are flat on one side and round on the other. Could anyone help me identify what type of lentils I purchased?

photo of the lentils in question

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    Welcome to SA! To get a reliable identification, you're going to need to share a photo.
    – FuzzyChef
    Mar 16, 2023 at 21:07
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    Thank you for letting me know. The best I could do was change my pfp to a photo of my lentils as I couldn't figure out any other way to share a picture. Please forgive me, I'm obviously very new here. Mar 17, 2023 at 1:06
  • I added the photo to your question.
    – FuzzyChef
    Mar 17, 2023 at 5:06
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    @SalmonBellies: When you're writing or editing a question or answer, there's a toolbar with various formatting options -- bold, italics, etc. -- immediately above the field where you're typing. If you click on the 'image' button in that toolbar, it will walk you through uploading a picture and including it in the post.
    – ruakh
    Mar 17, 2023 at 7:17
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    @SalmonBellies Welcome to seasoned advice! Regarding the images, ruakh's directions should work for you now, and if they don't, tell us, and we can see how to help you, maybe we will invite you into a chatroom (the site has those, you don't need an IRC account or anything) to work it out in person. For other places on the Internet, you can upload your image on a sharing service such as Imgur, add the link in your post, and ask the moderators to convert it to an actual image - many sites will oblige.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 17, 2023 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


Those are standard "brown" (or "grey") lentils; they're what most Americans mean when they say just "lentils". They are called "whole masoor dal" if you're Indian.

Confusingly, they are also sometimes called "green" lentils. I say confusingly because lentils de puy are also called green lentils, but have a different cooking time, texture, and flavor.

If you skinned them, you'd find that the inner lentil was vermillion in color, which are known as "red lentils", or "masoor dal".

They take 35-55 minutes to cook, usually, depending on how soft you want them.

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