Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is grown in South East Asia and ordinarily consumed as thick soup made up of whole grain or split pulse ordinarily stated as ‘daal’. Lentil has greatly improved the status of growers. It has adequate amounts of, P, Ca, K, Cu, metallic elements and Mg to satisfy the macro and micro-nutrients demand in human diets. Despite variations, potassium and manganese are noted as being present in highest and lowest concentrations. Lentils are a supply of essential fatty acids, essential amino acids and trace minerals to satisfy the demand of population of Pakistan. Lentil, though referred to as a ‘poor man’s meat’, is equally likable by all socioeconomic teams in South East Asia.

Origin: Lentil was among the earliest of humankind’s plant domesticates and is related to the beginning of the ‘agricultural revolution’ within the Near East. From there it spread to North and geographic region, South Asia, North America, and East and South Europe. Lentil − a supply of prime quality protein − is mostly used in different foods. In 2013-14 lentil was grown on an area of 17.8 thousand hectares in Pakistan and total production was 9.3 thousand tones.

In southern Asia, split red lentils are employed in curries. Lentil flour, additional to cereal flour, is employed to create bread. Lentils would like less cooking time than different pulses and it has no need to be pre-soaked. Lentils which are dried can be sprouted. The stems, leaves and threshed pods of lentil are necessary for feeding sheep and goats within the Mideast and North Africa. Lentil plants fix chemical element within the soil, decrease the nitrogen fertilizer use. This lowers prices for farmers. Lentils are glorious supply of protein and additionally rich in necessary minerals, vitamins, insoluble and soluble dietary fiber. The unsaponifiable lipid fraction of lentil could be a potential supply of bio active elements like tocopherols, squalene and phyto-sterols.

 Consumption: Lentil is a nutritional food. It’s cultivated for its seed and principally consumed. The seed that encompasses a comparatively higher contents of carbohydrate, protein and calories compared to different legumes and is that the most desired crop attributable to its high average protein content and quick cookery characteristic in several lentil manufacturing regions. It is often used as a side dish, main dish, or in salads. Seeds are often deep-fried and seasoned for consumption; flour is employed to create soups, stews, purees, and mixed with cereals to create bread and cakes; and as a food for infants. Despite the fact that lentils are thought-about to be extremely alimentary, they contain anti nutritional factors like hemaglutinins, enzyme inhibitors, and oligosaccharides that cause flatulence. These issues are often greatly reduced by germination and heating. It is reported that lentils have the smallest amount whereas faba bean typically have the best concentrations of those anti nutritional factors. Tannins are present in high concentrations within the seed coat; but tannins are often removed by process, most frequently to get rid of the seed coats. Dried leaves, husks, fruit walls stem and bran (residues), are often fed to livestock. Lentil residues contain regarding 10.2% moisture, 1.8 % fat, 4.4% protein, 50 % carbohydrates, 21.4% fiber, and 12.2% ash. Once production of forage crops falls below the extent needed within the market, lentil residue commands an equal or a much better price than lentil seeds in some Middle Eastern countries. Inexperienced plants create valuable manure. Seeds are a supply of commercial starch for textile and printing industries. Seeds are often deep-fried and seasoned for consumption; flour is employed to create stews purees, soups and mixed with cereals to create cakes and bread and as a food for infants. It is employed in cookery dishes within the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent and within the Mideast and incorporated into soups in Europe and North America. In Western countries, lentils could also be employed in casseroles and as meat substitutes in vegetarian diets.

Medicinal Uses: Lentils are considered to remedy constipation and different intestinal afflictions. In India, lentils are popular cure onto the ulcers that follow different slow-healing sores and smallpox. Within the sixth century, chickpeas were believed to be an aphrodisiac; whereas strangely enough, lentils were thought-about to possess the other impact, and this was most likely the rationale why the lentil was enclosed within the diet in monasteries on meatless days.

This article is collectively authored by Adeela Sadaf *Dr.Muhammad Tahir and Nawal zafar
*Assistant Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.