Merchant Gourmet has proved it's got its finger on the pulse with the launch of microwaveable puy lentils.

As with the rice category, its new lentil product can be used cold from its plastic pouch or heated in the microwave for two minutes as a warm accompaniment.

Puy lentils are green blue in colour and come from the Le Puy en Velay region in France. They are normally boiled for about 20 minutes.

"Puy lentils have become the gourmet's lentil," said a spokesman. "Now, thanks to Merchant Gourmet, they are so quick and easy to prepare they can be enjoyed even more."

The lentils have an rsp of £1.59 for a 250g pack.