Originating in Asia and North Africa and a dietary staple of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, the red split lentil has now become a common occupant of hipsters pantries the world over. Don’t let those pencil moustache, slouch beanied, pseudo-hippies dissuade you though, faddish as they may seem Lentils have been part of the human diet dating back to the Neolithic period. They were, in fact, one of the first foods to be domesticated since the development of agriculture roughly 10,000 years ago. They are a food of all the people. As a western culture, we are a little too quick to dismiss ancient wisdom and knowledge (much more so than our brothers and sisters in the east) and it is much to the detriment of our overall health. Let this text then guide and enlighten you to the glory and majesty of the peoples lentil.
Allow me first to rattle off a couple of health benefits:
• High in fibre (great for digestion)
• Fibre is also essential for keeping blood sugar stable
• Good source of protein (especially for vegetarian and vegans)
• Good source of iron (especially important for women who lose iron during menstruation)
• Also contains carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins
Apart from that which I have listed above, a well rounded, raw and unprocessed diet is scientifically proven to increase cognitive function and decision making. Diet is the foundation of a happy and prosperous life.
In terms of the practical applications of the red split lentil, the most common uses are in daals/curries, soups and stews. Cook time is roughly 15 minutes with 2 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils. The consistency will be smooth and somewhat creamy if cooked correctly. Popular spices to pair with include:
Health benefits aside possibly the greatest thing about lentils are they are wildly affordable. So if you are akin to me and rolling on a budget fear not. Red split lentils can be found a Graina for $5.90/kg for the non-organic variety or for those of you looking to save the world $9.90 for organic.
Now I’m not here to tell you what to do but what I will say is this, you should 100% incorporate red split lentils into you weekly meals and if not you are lost to me. Take this knowledge in good faith and get cooking!
Written by Ely Hawkins