There are many different types of lentils. Here's a description of some of the most popular varieties.
These are the most common type of lentils found in stores. The have a mild flavor and can be used in many different types of recipes. They tend to get mushy if cooked too long. They are good in lentil soup.
Black or Beluga Lentils
These lentils are small, delicate, and black and are shiny like Beluga caviar when cooked, hence their name. They are more expensive than other lentils. Use them in lentil soup or salads.
Puy Lentils or French Green Lentils
Considered by many to be the most delicate and flavorful of lentils, these small, brownish green or speckled green lentils originated in Le Puy, France. They don't get as mushy as some other lentils so they're great in recipes that require the lentils to remain firm.
Like French green lentils, green lentils don't turn mushy as fast as some other lentils.
Red Chief Lentils or Split Red Lentils
Salmon colored lentils that turn golden when cooked. They get soft fast and are therefore great in soups.
Petite Crimson Lentils
These are very small lentils that cook very fast and are about a third the size of other lentils.
Yellow Lentils or Toor Dal
These lentils are yellow with a mild flavor. In India, they are often ground into a flour.
These are black lentils that have had their black skins removed to reveal the white interior.
Split Black Lentils
Black lentils that have been split but not skinned, giving
These Mexican lentils are yellow and larger than other lentils.