Lentils in yogurt rice recipe

I'm making yogurt rice from The Essential NYT cookbook - I've seen this recipe mentioned on this site a few times. I'm a little confused about the lentils - how do I cook them before I add them? Do I cook them at all? If not, what consistency should they be when finished? From my brief web search (and their consistency) it doesn't seem like unboiled lentils are edible, thus the confusion (I also don't have the book with me now so my mother emailed me the recipe, and something could have gotten lost in translation). Thanks!

  • Posted by: LucyS
  • August 1, 2012


susan G. August 1, 2012
The key here is that you are not using green/brown/black or dePuy lentils, which are whole and require cooking. Urad and channa dal are legumes that have had the outer coat removed and are split. The recipe uses a technique for them that is commonly found in Indian recipes. Don't try this unless you get the right kind of 'lentils.'
You could cook whole lentils with the rice as an alternative, but it won't be anything like the recipe. It would probably be good, though.
Droplet August 1, 2012
If it was me I would soak them in warm water for maybe an hour or so and then drain them very well before they go into the skillet. (if time permits you to do so according to your plans that is).I haven't tried it myself but I'd think that simpy roasting dried uncooked lentils will produce a very hard to chew and potentially tooth-chipping bits, but I might be wrong.The recipe isn't clear, I agree.
PhillipBrandon August 1, 2012
I think in that recipe, the lentils are going to end up close to the texture of the nuts. After you fry them slightly with the cashews they will be not-quite raw.
If you're afraid you're missing some of the recipe, I think you can find it here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/dining/181irex.html
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