If you’re looking for quick meals that are also healthy and plant-based, lentils are an excellent option.
They’re a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins – perfect for vegetarian cooking or easy dinner ideas.
But did you know that you can microwave lentils?
It’s a convenient way to cook them without having to watch over them on the stove.
With this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about microwaving lentils.
Why You Should Consider Microwaving Lentils
Microwave cooking has come a long way since its invention in the mid-20th century. Today’s microwaves are much more powerful and efficient than before. Here are some reasons why you should consider using your microwave to make lentil recipes:
Quick Cooking Time
Microwaving lentils is much faster than traditional stovetop methods – it can take as little as 15 minutes compared to 45 minutes or more on the stove.
Microwave cooking doesn’t require multiple pots and pans like stove-top cooking. This makes cleanup a breeze.
When microwaving lentils, they cook evenly and consistently throughout since the heat is distributed uniformly.
Step-by-Step Guide on How To Microwave Lentils
Here’s how to microwave lentils in just a few simple steps:
Step 1: Rinse The Lentils
Measure out your desired amount of dried lentils in a colander and rinse them under cold water.
Step 2: Combine Lentils with Water or Broth
Transfer the rinsed lentils into a microwave-safe dish large enough to hold them comfortably along with water or broth (the ratio is typically 2 cups of water for every cup of dried lentil), cover with lid or vented plastic wrap, stir well, and shake to level the surface.
Step 3: Microwave the Lentils
Cook the lentils in the microwave for around 10-15 minutes on high power until they’re soft and tender as per preference. Use oven mitts or gloves to remove the dish from microwave since it’s going to be steamy inside.
Step 4: Season Them
Once done, season your microwaved lentils with salt, pepper or any spices, whatever you desire.
Precautions for Microwaving Lentils
While microwaving lentils is a convenient and fast option, there are some precautions you should take:
- Don’t use metal dishes – they can cause sparks and damage your microwave.
- When microwaving with plastic wrap, make sure it’s safe for use in the microwave.
- Don’t fill up uncovered dish which may end up overflowing as a result of water boiling up in cooking process.
- Be careful when removing lids or plastic wraps and opening bowls after being microwaved since steam can cause injury if not handled properly.
Factors Affecting Cooking Time
Here are some factors that can affect how long it takes to cook lentils in a microwave:
- The type of lentil – different types of lentils cook differently. Make sure you check suggested cooking timing for specific variety online before making any assumptions.
- Wattage of your microwave – higher wattage means faster cooking time
- Amount of Lentil Being Cooked – More quantity will take longer time. Adjust amount this accordingly.
Expert Tips for Perfectly Microwaving Lentils
Follow these tips to ensure that your microwaved lentils turn out perfectly every time:
Tip 1: Use a Microwave-Safe Dish
Make sure you choose a dish that’s safe for use in the microwave. Glass or ceramic dishes work well but avoid using plastic unless it’s labeled specifically as ‘microwave-safe’.
Tip 2: Cover The Dish
Covering the dish with a lid or vented plastic wrap minimizes the risk of boiling over and helps steam to build up resulting in way more tender lentils.
Tip 3: Stir Occasionally
Stirring periodically during cooking process will ensures even heat distribution, which helps lentils cook uniformly.
Advantages of Microwaving Lentils
Here are some advantages to microwaving lentils:
- Quick and easy: As aforementioned, microwaved lentils require less time to cook than conventional methods.
- Nutritious: Microwaved lentils retain maximum fraction of nutrient value compared to prolonged exposure on stove-top while boiling.
- Saves Energy: Microwave cooking requires lesser energy consumption if you compare heat output during such time span with stovetop cooking.
Disadvantages of Microwaving Lentils
While there are many benefits to microwave cooking, here are some disadvantages worth noting:
- Can Cause Uneven Cooking: Lentil varieties have longer soaking times than others. So, if you have not allowed for sufficient soaking time before using it in a mirowave as fresh item then it may again leadto unevenly cooked food inspite of micrwave being uniform heating device.
- Might Degrade Nutrition Value: Heating foods more rapidly for shorter durations may degrade nutrient value by way of convection or improper exposure to heat. However, no major scientific evidence suggests that microwaves affect nutritional quality any differently than other forms of heating food does.
- Limited Capacity: You cannot cook large quantities using a microwave since this slowers its efficiency & results in ununiform heat distribution across items inside the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions about Microwaving Lentils
Can I microwave canned lentils?
Yes! Drained canned beans can be microwaved just as dried beans can be without facing any difficulty.
Do I need to stir lentils when microwaving?
Mid-period stirring simply helps get an idea of how they’re cooking but it isn’t a must unlike while stirring rice, since lentils tend to cook uniformly on their own.
How do I jazz up my microwaved lentils?
Sauté diced onions, garlic and cumin, then add them to the cooked lentils as they rest. Pour over with some lemon juice for extra flavor.
Microwaving lentils is an easy and convenient way to cook them that saves time and energy. With these step-by-step instructions and tips, you can enjoy tasty and healthy lentil recipes.
While it’s important to take precautions while microwave cooking whether its for safety or nutritional reasons, there are many advantages like its speed and efficiency that make it worth giving it a try.
That being said, don’t forget the pick between different sized powerratings of your microwave oven & always check recommended nutrition sources before going ahead with any such methods confidently!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.