. . BENG. Linsen, . . . . GEE. P'ien-tau, . . . CHIN. Masur, Masur dhal, HIND. Lentil, Tare, . . ENG. Dhal, dhol, . . . ,, Lentilles, . . . . FR. Linti, IT.
The lentils of Genesis xxv. 34 are from the Ervum lens of botanists, a leguminous plant, one of the oldest food plants of which there is any record. Ever since the time of Esau they have been eaten in the east. In Egypt and Syria they are parched in a frying-pan and sold in the shops, and considered by the natives as the best food for those who are on long journeys. Its com position in 100 parts has been found to be in samples from Calcutta bazar. Bombay bazar. Moisture, . . . 12.70 1110 10'72 12'50 Nitrogenous matter, . 24'57 2618 25'20 24'65 Starchy matter, . . 59'43 59'43 59'96 59'34 Fatty or oily matter, . 1'01 1'00 114 Mineral constituents (ash), 2'29 1'99 2'20 2'37 Lentils, like all the other leguminous fruits, contain a large quantity of nitrogenized matters. Einhoff found that 3840 parts of lentils contained 1260 parts of starch and 1433 parts of a matter analogous to animal matter. Dr. Playfair found that 100 parts of lentils contained 33 parts of albumen or gluten, and 48 parts of starch, etc.; whilst the same quantity of peas contained 29 parts of albumen, and of beans 31 parts. Lentils constitute one of the most highly nutritious foods in nature. There are three varieties known in France and Germany,—the small brown, which is the lightest flavoured and the best for soups ; the yellowish, which is a little larger and the next best ; and the lentil of Provence, which is almost as large as a pea, wiluxuriant straw, and might be cultivated as food r cattle. In its cultivation the lentil requires a dr warm soil ; it should be sown later than the pea;; the rate of a bushel or a bushel and a half the acre. It ripens earlier than the pea, and requires the same treat ment and harvesting. The produce of the lentil
in grain is about a fourth less than that of the tare, and the straw is not more than a third as much. The straw is, however, considered very nourishing, and is used for feeding calves and lambs. The Ervum lens was largely advertised in London about the year 1840, under the term Ervalenta, afterwards as Revalenta. On analysis, Warton's Ervalenta was found to consist of a mixture of the French or German lentil, ground and reduced to powder, including portions of the shells or husk, and of a substance very closely resembling in its microscopic characters, maize or Indian corn meal. The French lentil, either whole or ground, is of a yellowish colour, and has the taste of peas. It has been stated that the farina of Durra, etc., has been discovered in either Ervalenta or Revalenta. Durra is the Sorghum vulgare of some other writers. Its meal resembles that of Indian corn. The two following are receipts for lentil flour : Red Arabian lentil Salt, 3 07.
flour, . . . . 2 lbs. Mix into a uniform Barley flour, . 1 lb. powder.
or Pea flour, . . . 2 lbs. I Salt, 3 oz.
Indian corn flour, . 1 lb. Mix as before.
—Eng. Cgc.; Powell, i. p. 310 ; Roxb.; Voigt ; Ainslie ; Hassal.
LEO, the lion, the Felis leo of Linnaeus, the Asiatic ]ion, occurs in India. It was called by Smee the Felis Gujerattensis, and the people call it the Sher, the Babbar-sher, the Untia-bag or camel-coloured tiger, also Singha and Shingal. Its length is from 8f to 9f feet, and its height 33 feet. The Asiatic and African lion is identical, and is found in the N.W. of India from Gujerat and Cutch to Hurriana, Gwalior, and Saugor.