By- Sunayana Gupta
Legumes, the heavenly nutritious and healthy vegetarian product, can be taken up as a perfect staple of many vegetarian diets. They encompass a huge variety like lentils, beans, chana, rajma, peas and are highly enriched with iron, folate, protein, fiber and potassium. As an added quality, legumes are tremendously low in cholesterol.
Storage Of Legumes:
When you are going to store the dried legumes, try to keep it in a dry, dark place in an unopened bag. If the bag is once opened, make sure to transfer the legumes into an airtight container after draining and rinsing them properly.
How To Wash:
When you are going to use the legumes, take a strainer to place the legumes. Rinse them properly under cool water.Next you have to sort thoroughly to discard the debris, present in it. In case you are going with the lentils or split peas, you can skip the task of soaking and go for the point ‘how to cook’ readily after washing them.
How To Soak:
Most of the legumes (leaving those previously mentioned ones) need soaking before you cook any dish out of it. Keep it in mind that if you soak the legumes properly, cooking time will get shortened and digestibility will be increased. Cover the thoroughly washed beans with four times more than their volume of water and pick your preferable technique to soak.
1. Normal procedure of soaking: For at least eight to ten hours, soak the legumes. If you are using the larger beans, it will take the time of overnight. It is the common, traditional and healthy method of soaking beans.
2. Quick soaking: Boil the soaked legumes for a minute, cover them and now let them let sit for an hour. When they are tender enough and double in size, you are done.
As soon as the legumes are soaked, you have two things to do:
1. First drain out the soaking water, take the rinsed beans and cook. It will reduce flatulence.
2. Now try cooking with the vegetable stalk water to have more added flavor, better taste, and much more nutrients.
How To Cook:
Though legumes take a long time to cook, once you have the complete guide at hand, it is quite easier. Some quick tips and tricks are here for you to cook legumes.
1. Use the pressure cooker to cook legumes and timing will be decreased up to eighty percent.
2. Do not use salt, lemon juice or tomatoes in the soaking water, the legumes will be harder and cooking time will increase.
3. Often people have a complaint that consuming beans and legumes cause the gas producing properties. To get rid of it, bring the dried kombu seaweed to the cooking utensil and water before boiling. When you are done with cooking, remove the kombu. Go to the nearby food market, you will find the kombu. If you don’t get the kombu seaweed, slices of ginger or cumin seeds will also work for you. Another effective way to remove the gas producing properties, is to skim the foam when you are boiling the legumes
4. Fill the entire pot with cold and fresh water first. For one cup of soaked legumes, you will need three cups of water – this is general idea. Make sure that when you are boiling the legumes, the pot is covered with a lid. Now, let the steam escape while boiling to reduce simmer by tilting the lid a little. After the designated time of cooking, check the legumes, if they are softer. When they get the soft texture, your cooking is completed.
Varieties Of Legumes:
There are over twenty-five varieties of legumes and we have listed up the most common ones. Look into the brief details of these legumes. In the supermarkets and grocery stores, you will come across all of these varieties. So, make a smart and wise purchase. Here we share about few of them.
Adzuki or azukibeans: Apart from these names, these peas are known as the field peas as well as red oriental beans. Mainly in rice dishes you can use these beans.
Chick peas or Garbanzo Beans: Mostly in Indian dishes and hummus you will get these beans used. Punjabi style chole and Bihari aloo channe ki ghugani is a treasure trove for vegetarian lovers !
Edamame or soybeans: Go for these nutritious soybeans in your soups, tasty snacks, rice dishes, pasta, salads, and pasta dishes.
Fava beans or broad beans: Fava beans as well as the horse beans, these beans are generally used in the Indian side dishes.
Black beans: They are tastier than others and if you add them in your daily diet, it will prevent the risk of cardiac attack.
In different Indian dishes, you will find the use of lentils or dal. They make delicious soups, stews and also used to make various snacks. Bengali cholar dal, dal tadka, kali masoor dal and dal makhni are some of the lip smacking recipes that you should try !
Lima beans: You may have heard the name of Butter Bean too. Both are the same. In soups, casseroles, and salads, lima beans are too important as the core ingredient.
Kidney Beans Or Rajma:
If you are cooking the stews with chili, or simple mixed bean salad, kidney beans are perfect to increase the nutritious value as well as the taste. Did you try the famous rajma masala?