simple french lentils

french lentils

I usually have lentils when I eat Indian food. Lentils are common in Indian cuisine but is also present in many European dishes. Roast chicken and lentils is a great combination and I first encountered it while watching Nigella Lawson serve lentils and chicken together. They are also a great source of protein. The first time I boiled up some lentils, they turned out mushy. I decided to do some research, source for some French lentils and try again.

This method is from The Kitchn and produces yummy, lightly seasoned lentils. You can cook lentils in plain water or use stock depending on what you are serving the lentils with.

french lentils, a bay leaf and a clove of garlic

How to Cook Lentils on the Stove

(taken from The Kitchn; click here)


  • 1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils
  • 2 cups water or stock
  • 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, or other seasonings (optional) (I used one garlic clove and one bay leaf)
  • Salt, to taste


Any amount of lentils can be cooked in this manner. Just maintain the 2:1 ratio of water/stock to lentils described below.

  1. Measure and place lentils into a strainer or colander. Rinse under cold water, keeping a lookout for any rocks or things that aren’t lentils.
  2. Place the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and add in the water and any other seasonings except the salt.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. Do not cover pot. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until lentils are to your liking. Add water if needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
  4. When lentils are cooked to your desired texture and bite, strain the lentils and remove any seasonings. Place the lentils back into the pan and season with salt to taste.

steaming lentils


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