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?
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.