Posted on August 2, 2019

Pre-cooking Lentils…

Food/ Slow Cooker

Why I pre-cook and freeze gram lentils….

I love cooking however I don’t always have time to leisurely cook and that’s where my kitchen short cuts come in.

I use gram lentils quite a bit. They are the base ingredient of vegetarian kebabs, Pakistani Bun kebab and also my favourite spinach and gram lentil curry. But I’ll be honest with you. I dislike having to watch food simmer on the stove for hours. It’s just not in my nature. I’ll happily place something in the oven and leave it for hours but on the stove? Nope. Just not happening.

I discovered a while ago that you can pre-cook and then FREEZE gram lentils to create meals that slash the time on stove top simmering. A revolution!

Since then I boil approximately 900 grams of Gram Lentils in my rather large Slow Cooker on high for a good few hours (mine took 5 hours to cook to the tenderness level I required), cool then and then freeze them up in portion sizes I know I will use.

I also do this with green lentils (for my tacos). If a lentil is going to take hours I’d rather go through the pain of pre-boiling in a slow cooker, cooling and freezing instead.

So here is my method:

1) I wash the lentils and then soak them for around a hour.

2) I place them in the slow cooker to boil HOWEVER I add the following ingredients to my 900 grams of lentils for a bit of flavour penitration. Here’s my recipe:

900 grams Gram Lentil
As much water as you can add to the slow cooker. If you find your slow cooker is on the small side boil half the amount of daal. Simples.
1 onion-halved
1 large piece of ginger-whole (skin can be kept on)
4 whole cloves of garlic peeled only
Salt-to your own taste
1 TBSP chili powder OR 5 dried red chilies
1 TBSP turmeric (Haldi)

2) Place all the ingredients in the Slow Cooker and turn to high. Check on your lentils every hour or so and give them a stir.
3) After a few hours your Lentils will be tender. I don’t let the lentils turn to ‘mush’ and leave a little bit to allow me to ‘cook them out’ when I use them on the stove.
4) Drain the lentils (because if you leave them in the Cooker they will cook further) and allow to cool. Fish out the garlic, ginger and onion. Throw them away.
5) Decant the lentils into suitable freezer bags (or containers), label and freeze!
6) To defrost: you can do this in the Microwave or leave the bag overnight in the Fridge.

Enjoy.

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