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Lentil (lens culinaris)

A small dried pulse. The orange, brown or green seeds from a variety of leguminous plants. The seeds are contained in pods about 1.6cm/½ in long, and are widely used as food. the most common varieties are the greenish French lentil, and the orangey- red Egyptian/Indian lentil. Green lentils keep their shape when cooked and have a stronger, earthier taste than the red variety; but the collapsing nature of orange lentils, makes them ideal for soups and purées - such as dal.

The best green lentils are considered to come from Puy in France, and the area around Castelluccio (in the high plains of Umbria) Italy.

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