Learn How To Cook Dry Beans And Peas Easily – Easy & Best Way To Cook Dry Beans And Dry Peas For Recipes
Learn how to cook dry beans and peas for recipes using this easy to follow directions and tips. You can cook any variety of dry beans and peas and use them in many different recipes.
Dry beans are natural plant based proteins which can be used in many vegan recipes and vegetarian recipes and dry beans are a blessing for those who follow vegetarian or vegan diet or lifestyle.
As a vegetarian, dry beans and peas form a staple in my diet and I often cook different dry beans and peas for recipes at my home.
While growing up, dry beans and dried peas were a staple in my parents home too, and we all often had 2 to 3 types of beans and peas everyday, which gave us enough protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals. The tips and guidelines given in this article will help you to learn how to cook dry beans (and peas) at your home easily for new recipes.
Beans and peas form are an important part of balanced diet especially for vegetarians – Beans And Peas Offer protein, Fiber, Vitamins & Minerals
Beans and peas form an essential part of balanced diet especially if you follow a plant based diet like vegetarianism or veganism where your source of protein and essential nutrients is to be from plant based food sources and including beans and peas make sure you are not missing out anything in your diet.
There are many different kinds of beans and peas and each has a different cooking time. Some cooks fast, while some need more cooking time. Those which need longer time to cook should be soaked first.
But all dry beans don’t need soaking prior to cooking, only some of them need to be soaked. However it doesn’t hurt even if you soak all kind of dry beans (though some require only very little soaking time) including the fast cooking ones and the slow cooking ones. See the post on how long to soak chickpeas here for more details on cooking chickpeas.
So let us go on to see the best tips so you can learn how to cook dry beans and dry peas for your recipes easily.
How To Cook Dry Beans & Dry Beans Easily – Tips To Cook Dried Beans Or Dried Peas Easily
The best way to cook dry beans and dry peas is to use a pressure cooker. I always use a pressure cooker to cook the dry beans and peas for my recipes.
Alternatively, you may also use a crock pot or an instant pot which has many functionalities. You may also cook some fast cooking dry beans pr peas in a pan or pot directly on stove top, but I usually don’t do it since cooking in pressure cooker or instant pot is way much easier.
So here are my tips on how to cook dry beans and peas easily – best way to cook dry beans and dried peas for recipes
Soak the dry beans for few hours
As I mentioned earlier all dry beans and peas doesn’t need soaking prior to cooking. But it really does helps with reducing the overall cooking time if you can soak your dried beans and peas early in water. ( For example you have to soak the dry red kidney beans or the dry chickpeas, not the ones in can, in water for 5 to 6 hours prior to cooking. But you don’t have to soak the easy cooking yellow or green mung beans commonly known as moong dal)
One easy tip would be to make sure you soak the big sized dried beans and peas (the ones like red kidney beans or dry chickpeas) in water for long hours like 5 to 6 hours. You may soak the small sized ones for half an hour to one hour.
You don’t have to soak canned beans and peas like canned chickpeas or canned kidney beans. You only need to soak the beans and peas if they are dry variety.
We usually buy dry beans and peas instead of canned one, since we can buy them in bulk for easy storage and money saving, and also it is always good to reduce the amount of canned food for health reasons.
Once the dried beans and peas are soaked in water for few hours, they will become much softer and easy to cook. Also some dried beans have toxicity when used raw (like red kidney beans). So always make sure to drain out the water used for soaking dried beans and peas and also wash them in fresh water before you cook them.
As I mentioned, it is advisable to drain the water used for soaking and use fresh water for cooking the dry beans and peas.
You need to use the right amount of water to make sure you cook the dry beans and peas perfectly without burning the bottom of the cooking vessel.
My general rule of thumb is to use 3 cups of water for 1 cup of beans or peas if I don’t want much leftover water remaining in the vessel after cooking the beans.
If I am making a soup or stew which needs water as well, I use 6 cups of water for 1 cup of beans (the amount mentioned is after soaking, as they usually double in size after soaking). This is a general rule and you many need slightly less or more based on many factors like what lentil you are using, your way of cooking, cooking vessel, quantity and style of cooking.
(1 cup of beans to 3 cups of water : for no gravy recipes
1 cup of beans to 6 cups of water: for recipes that need gravy)
Usually I always add salt while cooking the beans or peas and after cooking I add the spices. You can also the spices early, but that is not necessary.
For big sized beans or peas like chickpeas or kidney beans you can cook them for more time like about 15 minutes in medium heat or about 4 whistles if using the kind of pressure cooker with whistles.
For small sized peas or beans you just need to cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or 1 to 2 whistles (like red cowpeas, whole green mung beans etc)
If you are using a pressure cooker to cook the dry beans or peas, always follow the instructions in the pressure cooker to make sure you are following all guidelines for safety, like using the valve.
( As I mentioned earlier, you may use a modern instant pot which is programmable or slow cooker like crock-pot for cooking dry beans and peas)
Wait for the pressure cooker to cool down before you attempt to open it, for safety reasons.
Once the pressure cooker is cool enough to open, you can either drain the water from the cooked beans or peas so you can add the cooked beans or peas to salads, rice or any recipes that call for cooked beans and peas or add salt and spices or sauteed vegetables directly to the cooker for making soup, chili or stew kind of recipes.
In that case you don’t have to drain the water from the cooked beans and peas, which is actually full of nutrients.
Even if you drain the water from the cooked beans or peas, you can save the water and use it as a broth for your other vegetarian recipes.
Hope you have found this post of how to cook dry beans and peas for recipes useful!