The lentil (Lens culinaris or Lens esculenta) is an edible legume. It is an annual plant known for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 cm (16 in) tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. As a food crop, the majority of world production comes from Canada and India, producing 58% combined of the world total.

Puy (left), green, and red (right) lentils
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Lens
L. culinaris
Binomial name
Lens culinaris
  • Lens culinaris subsp. culinaris cultivated lentil
  • Lens culinaris subsp. orientalis (Boiss.) Ponert wild progenitor
  • Lens culinaris subsp. tomentosus (Ladiz.) M. E. Ferguson et al.
  • Lens esculenta Moench

In cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, where lentils are a staple, split lentils (often with their hulls removed) known as daal are often cooked into a thick curry/gravy that is usually eaten with rice or rotis.