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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Lentils In Rapid Ragu

    Hi there, In the book Nigella Express the recipe for Rapid Ragu specifies using green lentils. However when I was watching the episode from the series, Nigella states that she uses red lentils in place of carrots. Which one should I used, and does it make a huge difference? Many thanks, Sidonie

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's recipes as printed in her books and on her website are the full and final versions of her recipes and the ones that we would prefer to use. In the case of Rapid Ragu (from Nigella Express and on the Nigella website) the green lentils are the correct ones to use and the timings for the recipe are based on using this ingredient.

    However Nigella often mentions that she likes to continually tweak recipes and also likes to offer some alternatives and in the Nigella Express TV show she would be mentioning the split red lentils as a possible alternative. If you were to use these then it should be noted that the cooking time may be slightly shorter as red lentils will take 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Also the ragu could be slightly thicker in consistency as red lentils tend to break down during cooking whereas green ones tend to stay whole.

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