Scientific name: lens culinaris
Lentils are a pulse, which means they grow seeds in pods like beans and peas but they are harvested when the seeds are dry. Beans and peas that are not picked fresh but are left to dry out first are also called pulses. Lentils are eaten all over the world, and are good food for people who do not eat meat. They can be made into soup, stews and curries. They cannot be eaten raw, and need to be cooked before you can eat them. If you soak lentils overnight before you cook them, they are easier to digest.