The lentil (which has the scientific name Lens culinaris) is a member of the legume plant family and is considered an edible pulse. Lentils grow on a bushy annual plant that produces the edible lens-shaped seeds within pods.
Brown Lentils. This is by far the most common variety of lentil, and probably the one that you see at your local grocery store. They can range in color from khaki-brown to dark black, and generally have a mild, earthy flavor. They cook in about 20 to 30 minutes and hold their shape very well.