Lentils are a very important part of the culinary traditions throughout much of the Middle East. It is thought to have originated in the area, likely representing one of the very earliest crops to have been cultivated by the native civilizations. For many, it is a staple second only to rice, and features strongly in soups, stews, dal, mejadra, and other dishes.
Many chefs favor lentils because they have very little taste by themselves, and are great at absorbing the flavors of other ingredients they are combined with. When added to a spicy Indian dish, they take on the taste of the most powerful spice present.
Nutritionally, the lentil is a strong choice. A single half-cup serving of the legume gives you roughly 60% of your daily recommended iron, 67% of your vitamin B1, 28% of your copper, 18% of your protein, 12% of your zinc, 10% of your potassium, thirty-one grams of dietary fiber, and a whole lot more.
At our Bellevue Indian restaurant, you can experience the superior nutrition of lentils in many of our South Indian-style dishes.