Last night we cooked the lentils in a pressure cooker 20:00. They were on the kitchen shelf for about 3 hours before I put them in fridge.

I took them out in the morning at 9:30, and took them to office on scooter (It takes 30 minutes to reach office). Day time temperature here is 35 C.

Office has AC switched on. I opened the box of cooked lentils at 14:00 in the office and found colour of the lentils quite a pale green. That is not normal for properly freshly cooked lentils.

I stirred the lentil box with a spoon and found that the lentils below the surface were of normal green colour.

Is it normal for the colour of the cooked lentils to change overnight even when they were kept in fridge?

  • 2
    Yes, some lentils will change colour if exposed to air.
    – Stephie
    Jun 24, 2015 at 10:49
  • If I understand you correctly, only the surface layer of lentils changed color; the rest retained their color. It sounds like the surface of the lentils was influenced by changes in moisture in the air above them when you put them in the fridge. I've seen many foods change color on their surface a bit after refrigeration for this reason. (I don't know for certain this is the reason, which is why I'm posting as a comment rather than as an answer.)
    – Athanasius
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:54
  • 1
    I haven't had that kind of problem, though the kind of lentils I eat (in the US) are a dark gray color. But as a food safety matter you should read though this How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?. You went well past the 2 hour limit at unsafe temperatures.
    – user3169
    Jun 24, 2015 at 23:00
  • Cooked lentils hate dry air and light... I found that an airtight container of cooled lentils will loose the least amount of color when refrigerated. Also; if your recipe allows, a squirt of lemon juice or lime juice helps preserve the colors of the lentils.
    – Adrian Hum
    Nov 2, 2015 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


the color change you've observed is from oxidation. If you want to prevent this, lay some plastic wrap over the surface of your lentils to prevent air from getting to them, or add some acid, like lime juice, to the recipe.

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