Preparing lentils in a pressure cooker is perfect for those who want a quick, nutritious meal without too much hassle. Unlike other legumes, lentils don't need to be soaked beforehand, so they can go from your pantry to your plate in less than 20 minutes. Make a large batch and store them in the refrigerator for about three days, or in the freezer for up to a year. For both refrigerator and freezer storage, pack lentils with their cooking liquid.
Sort through the lentils and remove any debris that might be present, then rinse them thoroughly in a colander with cold running water.
Combine 1 part lentils and 3 parts water in your pressure cooker. For example, if you want to cook 3 cups of dry lentils, add 9 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for every 1 cup of dry lentils to prevent them from foaming and clogging the pressure valve. Season the mixture with flavorful aromatics like whole cloves of garlic, quartered onions, bay leaves or dried herbs and spices.
Secure your pressure cooker's lid and set it to high. Once the pressure reaches high, reduce it to medium. French green and green lentils will take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook, while brown and red ones will cook in about 8 to 10 minutes. Split lentils only require about 4 to 6 minutes of cooking.
Allow the pressure cooker to cool and depressurize before opening it. If the lentils are still too tough for your liking, cook them a few minutes longer without the lid until they reach your desired texture. Season with salt before serving.