Preparing legumes

Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About
It is impossible to be precise about the amount of liquid and the length of time that different beans need to cook in. The chart below is a guide, but do not take it as precise to the last minute. Both the time and water factors depend on the age of the bean - the older the bean, the longer it takes to cook - but there is no way of telling how old a dried bean is. As a safeguard, buy from shops with a steady turnover, and do not buy wrinkled beans that have no sheen.

Pressure cookers tend to inspire strong emotions in people; you either love them or loathe them. I admit that I have stopped using a pressure cooker, but only because I have burnt two by forgetting they were on the stove when pruning out in the garden. Pressure cookers cut down considerably on cooking time, which can mean a great saving on fuel; and contrary to popular belief, they do not destroy vitamins in food.