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Old 04-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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Cooking lentils in a Zojirushi

Hi, I have a Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Rice Cooker. I normally use it for cooking steel cut oats. I've 'discovered' lentils and several folks have likened lentil cooking to rice cooking.

If cooking lentils is doable, could someone suggest the Zojirushi cooker settings - and the ratio of water to lentils.

Thank you ~ james

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Old 04-21-2012, 01:05 AM   #2
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Hmm...good question. I would use the porridge setting, using the same water to lentil ratio 1:1 and then test it. I cook steel cut oats in my Zo, too!

Thanks for the idea and welcome to DC!
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:23 AM   #3
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I cook lentils with brown Basmati rice in My Sanyo micom rice cooker frequently. Doesn't seem to matter what ratio of lentils to rice, they seem to use the same amount of water and time when cooked together. I always add a bit of coconut oil, and often add caraway seeds, coarsely chopped onion, celery, maybe cut-up yam, or cabbage. Set the timer and it's done when I want.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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Princess, Thanks for responding. I agree, 'Porridge' is probably the best setting - it's not as hot as the 'Rice' settings {I'm pretty sure}. I emailed Zojirushi and asked them, thinking maybe they had 'been there - done that.' I did receive a reply - a PC safe answer. "We recommend you cook rice in a Zojirushi Rice Cooker." I'm thinking I'll begin with a 2:1 ratio {2 parts water; 1 part lentils}. You use a 1:1 ratio - I'll keep that in mind. However, I first have go to the store and buy some dry lentils ~ james
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jascombs View Post
Princess, Thanks for responding. I agree, 'Porridge' is probably the best setting - it's not as hot as the 'Rice' settings {I'm pretty sure}. I emailed Zojirushi and asked them, thinking maybe they had 'been there - done that.' I did receive a reply - a PC safe answer. "We recommend you cook rice in a Zojirushi Rice Cooker." I'm thinking I'll begin with a 2:1 ratio {2 parts water; 1 part lentils}. You use a 1:1 ratio - I'll keep that in mind. However, I first have go to the store and buy some dry lentils ~ james
You are Welcome!

Buy two bags, at least lentils are cheap and you can experiment until they are right. Now you have my curiosity up and will have to try this.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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Hi Princess et al., Update on my cooking lentils in a 3-cup Zojirushi. The only info I had was try a 2:1 ratio {1 cup lentils/2 cups water} and try Porridge setting. {Info from Zojirushi indicated 'Porridge' cooked at a lower temperature} So, this morning I purchased 4-bags of lentils and analyzed the info on the bag. Bag claims 1/4 cup = 35 grams. I measured out 1 cup and weighed it - 180-odd grams. Funny how using the gram count on the label seldom agrees with the 'per cup' calories. I reduced the cup to 140 grams {this would be 1 'light cup.' I dumped the lentils in Zoji pot and added 2 full 8-oz cups of water - and pushed the start button. 60-minutes later, the 'done' tune played - and Voila! I had what appeared to be a bowl of nicely cooked lentils. And, that's exactly what it was. Just right. There was maybe 1-2 tablespoons of liguid at the bottom of my bowl. I think I'll leave the ratio of lentils-to-water as is. In fact, no need to change a thing. It reminded me of cooking 1 Zoji cup of steel cuts oats. I'm pasting two Amazon URLs for two books on 'what all you can cook in a rice cooker.' I just might buy'em. Oh! the 140 grams {light cup} = 480 calories, 44 grams of fiber, 40 grams of protein. 'Nuff for one meal' ~ james The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook - Rev: 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings, and More, fro: Beth Hensperger, Julie Kaufman: 9781558326675: Amazon.com: Books - The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook - Amazon - $11.11 Amazon.com: The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker (9780740791420): Roger Ebert: Books - The Pot and How to Use it $10.29
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Wonderful! Thanks for the update!

Great, another Amazon purchase and two more cookbooks for my collection!
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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Zojirushi Lentil Update #2

Recently, I posted a query regarding cooking lentils in a Fuzzy Logic Zojirushi Rice Cooker. I was led to believe "Porridge" was the only safe setting for the likes of lentils - or run the risk of a boil-over. So, that's where I started. Then, I purchased Beth Hensperger's "The Ultimate Rice Cooker" cookbook. Whole 'nother world. It seems manufacturers of rice cookers go to great lengths to warn consumers not to cook anything other than rice in their cookers. I heartily recommend Beth's cookbook. I view it as the definitive book on cooking in a rice cooker. Amazon offers it for $11.11. After reading her book, I realized it was time to expand my rice cooker horizons. Beth recommended cooking lentils in the "Regular" mode.

Today, I tried cooking lentils in Zojirushi's "White Rice/Mixed" default mode. It didn't boil over. It took 1 hour and 21 minutes to cook 142 grams of lentils {approx 3/4 regular cup}. I added 1 cup water. BIG DIFFERENCE! The same amount of lentils and water in the "Porridge" setting took 60 minutes and produced what I'd describe as a super-thick lentil soup. There was 'some' water remaining in the bowl. The lentils were lightly chewy. Today's lentils (White Rice setting) produced an entirely different lentil. My palate definitely prefers the 'white rice' {higher temperature} setting. There was zero left over liquid. The lentils were more tender - no soupiness. A very tasty bowl of lentils. Tomorrow, I may increase the liquid to 2-cups - just to see what happens. I'm thinking adding any additional water will only extend the cooking time.

I do NOT recommend cooking steel cut oats on any setting other than 'Porridge.' I accidentally forgot to menu down from the default 'White Rice' to 'Porridge' - and experienced a huge boil-over mess. Lentils appear to like the 'White Rice' setting.

I do recommend Beth Hensperger's book AND lentils cooked on the 'Regular White Rice' setting ~ james
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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Another thanks for the second update. I'm patiently waiting for my cookbooks to show up. Then I will be trying out new things with more assurance and no guessing.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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Another thanks for the second update. I'm patiently waiting for my cookbooks to show up. Then I will be trying out new things with more assurance and no guessing.
Hi Princess, I'm assuming you ordered both books. I did too. I feel a comment or two is warranted on Roger Ebert's "The Pot and How to Use It." It's a great companion book to "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook." Kinda like a teeter-totter - they balance each other. Compared to Beth's book, it's an entertaining fast read. Once read, you feel like you know Roger Ebert - it's personal. There's much to be learned by reading it. If one had to purchase just one book - no contest, buy the 'Ultimate' cookbook. They work well together ~ james
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