Can You Ferment Lentils?

Lentils are a great source of nutrition and are a great addition to a healthy diet.

Many people skip soaking lentils, just cooking and preparing them in a range of soups, stews, and other dishes, because they are so fast and easy to cook.

When we cook lentils, we usually boil them, but can you ferment them as well?

You can do that. Lentils gain a whole new aspect of their flavor and nutrition when they are Fermented. 

They are easy to ferment, and a quick batch will usually produce enough to last for a few weeks.

Let’s find out more about the details.


Why Should You Ferment Lentils?

Gas and digestion issues can be caused by eating beans and legumes.

Nature has provided them with some defenses that allow them to survive being eaten so that a new generation can grow up.

Lentils are difficult to digest due to their large amount of complex starches, fibers, and enzymes.

Even though they have a lot of nutrition, it is difficult for the body to get all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Most of the traditional methods of preparing lentils aim to improve their digestibility so that we can access more of their vitamins and minerals.

Making them easier to eat by soaking, grinding, and cooking is one of how they can be improved.

The people have been making lentils for hundreds of years.

Adding important probiotics and beneficial compounds to lentils makes them even healthier because they are more digestible and taste better.

Ferment Lentils

Fermented Lentils Benefits

Lentils are transformed in many important ways as a result of fermentation.

Improves Digestibility

Lentils are more difficult to digest due to the compounds that make them more difficult to digest, so your body can access the natural nutrition inside of the legume.

Reduces Anti-Nutrients

Lentils contain lectins and phytates that can bind to vitamins and minerals in our bodies, preventing us from absorbing those vitamins and minerals.

In other words, lentils are hard to digest. The levels of calcium, zinc, iron, and other essential vitamins already present in our bodies can be reduced by eating lentils.

The lectins and phytates are broken down by the fermentation process.

Improves Flavor

Lentils are high in tannins, which can bind to and reduce the digestibility of proteins, as well as create an astringent flavor, which can be reduced by fermentation.

The natural astringency of red lentils is decreased because they are high in natural tannins.

The more complex, savory flavor of the food is caused by the reduction of the natural sugars in the food.

Adds Probiotics

Adding fermenting foods to our diet improves our health and supports our digestive systems. Fermenting or sprouting beans is the best way to get the nutrition you need.

The process of sprouting can be messy and time-consuming. There is no need for special equipment when it comes to Fermentation.

How Can I Ferment Lentils?

There are two ways in which lentils can be Fermented.

You can either use the natural “wild” bacteria in the air to ferment lentils or you can use a “starter” to create a more reliable and predictable fermentation.

If you want the best results, I recommend using a starter.

Even though lentils will naturally ferment in the right environment, it is important to cook them before they ferment.

There are several benefits to cooking lentils before they ferment:

  • A better environment for your fermentation starter to grow can be created by cooking lentils.
  • Regardless of when or how you ferment lentils, you will need to cook them to make them functional.
  • If you ferment them first, you will need to cook them afterward.
  • Many of the beneficial bacteria you cultivated during the fermentation process will be destroyed if you cook lentils after the process is finished.

It is a good idea to cook lentils before they ferment them. The steps to follow can be found here.

Cook the Lentils

  • It’s a good idea to inspect your lentil.
  • It is a good idea to look at the dried lentils and make sure they are free of sand and rocks.
  • The lentils need to be cleansed.
  • Dust and debris can be removed by rinsing the lentils with cold running water.
  • The lentils need to be soaked.
  • The lentils should be placed in a large pot with cold, clean water.
  • They should be allowed to soak for about 2 hours.
  • The lentils should be drained and washed again.
  • Lentils can be washed in clean water after being drained off the soaking water.
  • The lentils need to be boiled.
  • Place the lentils in a pot with cold water and bring to a boil, then let it cook on low heat for a few minutes.
  • Salt and other ingredients shouldn’t be added to the pot.
  • The lentils need to be cooled and drained.
  • Allow the lentils to cool to room temperature after they are cooked.

Ferment the Lentils

You can add: in a sturdy, airtight container:

  • 1 pound cooked lentils.
  • 1 TB sea salt.
  • 4 tablespoons of lactobacillus starter.
  • In addition, you can add optional ingredients like garlic or onion.
  • There should be at least an inch of headroom in the container.
  • Store out of sunlight at a temperature between 65 and 72F for a few days.

Lentils will have a strong odor after they ferment. It is a good idea to keep your container tightly sealed and leave room for the escaping gasses to not push the lid open.

Recipes with Fermented Lentils

Dosa from India is the most famous lentil dish in the world.

A dosa is a thin pancake or crepe and can be made sweet or savory with a huge range of flavors, ingredients, or sauces.

Idli is an Indian dish made from lentils.

Fermented lentils can be used the same way as cooked lentils in soups, stew, and saute dishes.

Fermented lentils can be used to make bread that is free of wheat and can be ground as an excellent flour substitute.


Fermenting lentils is a great way to make their nutrition more bioavailable while adding healthy bacteria and enhancing their flavor.

Fermenting lentils is incredibly easy and can be used in a wide range of baked goods. You should be making lentils if you aren’t already doing so.

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