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21

Summary: Baking soda is mostly used to soften the beans faster and decrease cooking time by increasing pH. In some scenarios, it has been shown to aid in breaking down gas-causing sugars as well. Higher concentrations of baking soda and/or pressure cooking may be needed to make this latter effect significant. In most cases, an increased soaking time will ...


11

Lentils are good for a long time: Many claim that they stay safe "indefinitively". While that is clearly an exaggeration, properly stored lentils stay edible for years if you keep them well-sealed in a cool, dry and dark(-ish) place. Note that dry storage keeps mold at bay, closed jars protect from insect damage and cool temperatures slow trace amounts of ...


10

Cottage pie is essentially a ground beef stew with mashed potato on top, and barley is a completely optional ingredient in beef stew, so you could leave it out and not worry about replacing it, there's already plenty of starch from the potato topping. I make beef stew relatively often and I like barley in it, but if I run out I just leave it out and it doesn'...


9

Throw it away, it's spoiled and probably contains several colonies of foodborne illnesses. Sealing food isn't sufficient to stop it going off, you need to refrigerate it or freeze it.


8

Preamble I will act in the interest of the OP and not close the question. I assume that my premise that the ratio doesn't matter (explained in the answer proper) is an established fact (at least I don't know of any source claiming the opposite). If we find a claim to the contrary, we will have to close the whole question, because it means that there is no ...


8

They are not the same, there is a difference. Red lentils can be purchased whole or split. Most red varieties are skinless, those that do have skin don't appear very red. The measurements aren't going to be affected much, you'll get slightly more lentil in a cup of split lentils than a cup of whole lentils. The cooking time will be more dramatically ...


7

There is a couple of possible reasons I can think of. Over stirring the mixture could be breaking the rice down releasing more of the starches which will be making the sauce thicker and sticking the rice into clumps. Over cooked rice again making the rice overly sticky. Like you've mentioned, lack of liquid. If the sauce is getting far too thick the ...


7

That just looks like some chaff from the harvesting and packaging process. It's good practice to always rinse beans before use. Lentils (organic or not) are no exception. Place in a bowl, fill with water and drain a couple of times. You should be good to go.


5

It looks to me like you need umami. One easy, healthy thing you can add is powdered dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms. I just throw the dried mushrooms into a spice grinder, it's a powerful punch. EDIT: (SAJ14SAJ refers to the same concept, glutamates, in his answer)


5

I can only speak for UK supermarkets and you haven't said where you're from, but our lentils are clean as bought. A typical packet doesn't say to rinse them. With red lentils the only reaosn I can see for rinsing is to (slightly) reduce foaming; with Puy lentils and some others even that's not an issue and you may lose flavour. Some Indian recipes (...


5

I would strongly suggest boiling the lentils first and then adding them to the bake or to the semi-finished product. Keep in mind that when baking at 325 F lentils may easily take 30-60 minutes. Adding the lentils separately, once cooked, will let you control the flavour and texture of the respective dishes as well. For example let’s say you were to bake for ...


5

The main reason why you rinse lentils and beans is to remove debris or shriveled lentils. Also for hygiene reasons, depending on where and what lentils you bought, they might include little stones, sand, or dust. In general, if you don't rinse your lentils/beans they will foam more while cooking. The foam is caused by starch and denatured protein from the ...


4

While I agree with some of the other answers that glutamates and nucleotides will help enhance the flavor of your dish, I don't think that's where you need to start. As is, your "health mash" barely has any flavor to enhance. I'd start instead by adding some aromatics. You'd be amazed how much more flavor you'll get if you just add some sauteed or ...


4

There's quite some bitter components in there: Fenugreek Nigella seeds Mustard seeds In general to balance bitterness, you either add salt, fat, or sugar. In yours case, maybe the addition of the mustard seeds pushed the bitterness just beyond what you like. So quite possibly you could also choose to reduce the amount of nigella seeds and fenugreek.


4

Yes, it's perfectly natural. Dust being rinsed off the outer surface of the lentils makes the water more viscous and helps to trap air in the form of small bubbles. In a strainer, the dust would be rinsed away, so you don't see the same effect; a spray nozzle especially adds a lot of turbulence, which causes more air to get trapped. You can get similar ...


4

Dried lentils don't go bad as such if stored sensibly (i.e. dry), but they do go hard and take longer to cook. It's always possible they were stored for some time before you cought them. An overnight soak before cooking can help. Other tips include: not adding salt/acid/sugar until they've softened, avoiding hard water making the water slightly alkaline ...


4

If you want to make "falafel" out of lentils, then you should look to folks who actually make deep-fried lentil balls regularly, and that's Indians. Dal Vada, balls of lentils that are deep fried in vegetable oil, are always made with lentils of some kind that have been soaked by not cooked. Cooked lentils, like cooked peas, will not hold ...


4

It seems that the pie is made with properly pre-cooked barley. 15 minutes should be enough for it to get well hydrated, even if the texture can be still a bit al dente at this point. This actually makes it easier on you, since it means you don't have to do complicated adjustments. All you need to do is to choose your substitution, choosing an appropriate ...


4

The reason to include the barley is to bulk up the filling and use less meat: all the flavours of a proper beef stew, while the barley reduces the amount of beef needed while still retaining all the flavour If you want to stay close to the recipe (and it's up to you whether you want to or not), you probably want to use something that retains a bit of a ...


3

You likely won't find a definitive answer out there, as there's a range of times for the lentils. To summarize an article from the Washington Post : Red, orange or yellow split lentils : 15 to 25 minutes Black beluga lentils : 20 to 25 minutes French du Puy lentils : 25 to 30 minutes Brown or green lentils : 30 to 40 minutes ... suggesting that you'd need ...


3

I have tried this myself. Although it depends on the type of rice that one gets (for example: the Japanese rice is the stickiest among them, because it is meant to be sticky, in order to make sushi rolls), but the following method has worked for me. When you are cooking your rice in a pot, this would be easier, although it works with rice cooker too. But it ...


3

There are three main things that are going to add or enhance the flavor of food. Salt, sugar, and glutimates. This is why the restaurant trio of salt, butter, and bacon is so effective at making things taste good. Cheese is another ingredient that brings most of these factors to the table, especially hard aged cheeses like Parmesan. Tomatoes also help ...


3

Your suspicion is correct about "far less mass than a chickpea" means you don't need to soak them as much. Chickpeas seem to need lots of soaking, but you don't have to soak lentils at all. I guess there are lots of kinds of lentils - the kind you have, the big ones with the skins on; the little peeled orange ones; the smaller dark colored ones with skins on,...


3

None. I have recently discovered that lentils do not require to be soaked prior cooking - and nor baking soda. I have already detailed this in an answer but I am not sure how to find it and link to it. I try and I will edit this. Another point is that the producers recipes were all clear about this : they recommend a minimal amount of salt in the cooking ...


3

In dal recipes I have made, the lentils and tempering are cooked separately, then combined later. They generally begin by toasting spices (careful, mustard pops, but that is what you want), then caramelizing thinly sliced onion in the spices. This brings out the sweetness of the onion, which can offset the bitterness of some of the spices. Once the ...


3

The biochemistry of the sprouting process is a little beyond me, but essentially the lentil converts stored energy (carbs) and protein into different proteins and fibre. The new proteins are quite useful to our own biochemistry, which is why sprouted lentils are considered "better" for you. It is the fibre, however, which causes the cooking time to be ...


3

This is probably due to anthocyanins present in the maize and lentils. Despite the possibly worrying sounding 'cyanin', anthocyanins are antioxidants and if anything, beneficial to one's diet. Anyway the amount of anthocyanins present in maize is far far less than in say red cabbage (see the table in the Wikipedia article), so I think you have nothing to ...


3

Yes to both questions. Lentils and barley can go together quite well in a soup. Here's a recipe for a lentil and barley soup as an example. Compare it to your soup recipe to see if there are any major differences (especially in cooking time or liquid to barley/lentil ratios). My hunch is that the barley will absorb more liquid than the lentils, so you may ...


3

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.


3

If this isn't prevented by your health condition, I'd recommend sweet red pepper paste. This is what Turkish folks traditionally use in lentil soup instead of tomato paste, and in my opinion it's better. If you have a good international market near you, you can buy it premade. If you don't, you can make it yourself and keep it around as a general ...


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