Tuesday 18 October 2011

Cooking Dried Beans

 find that we're eating beans at least once a day now that I've cut meat from my diet. I like a wide variety of beans and have tins of chick peas, butter beans, red kidney beans, borlotti and white navy beans in the pantry for instant beanie goodness. These cost about $1 a cup and must be drained and rinsed well before use.
However in my quest to further reduce costs I've been trying over the years to master the cooking of dried beans which I can buy for about $4 per kilo. Yesterday I weighed out 250gms of navy or haricot beans, and placed them in a large dish and poured about a litre of boiling water over them. Cover with a plate to keep out bugs and dust and let them sit for about 4 hours. During this time check to make sure they are still under water and you will see just how much they have increased in volume.

I used the (beloved) pressure cooker to save cooking time and keep the temperature in the kitchen down. These beans were drained and added to the cooker with 1 cup of soaked beans to 3 cups of clean water and cooked on high for about 4 minutes. Take them off the heat and use the quick-release function on your cooker to let out the steam so you can open the pan and stop further cooking.

Here you can see 250gms of dried beans next to about 4 cups of cooked beans. I used half last night in a Vegie Shepherd's Pie and froze 2 cups in a zip-lock bag for another meal.

 They were tender enough to eat right away and when I used them last night in a tomatoey vegie stew I gave them about 15minutes in a regular pan to absorb some of the saucy flavours.

This link will take you a wonderful pressure cooking site and show you how to cook almost anything in one. There are charts of cooking times for each variety of bean and recipes using the beans; ditto for all kinds of meats, chicken, seafood,  vegetables, fruits, grains.

You can make an easy hummus-type dip/spread by mashing or processing a cup of cooked beans, add a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of tahini, 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic, juice of half a lemon and season to taste..Mum and I like a little paprika in ours.

Do you have a pressure cooker and do you use it regularly? What dishes do you make in yours?

Have a Terrific Tuesday every-one,
Love from Sue


  1. I like to add sprouts to mine. Adds Texture :)

  2. Hmmm we'll have to find out what sort of sprouts Priss use(She's our Canadian daughter so will ask her personally)

  3. I always thought soaking dried beans too troublesome but you've made it sound easy that I think I might give it another try. Will have to get a pressure cooker one day. TFS

  4. As you know I lurve my pressure cooker and use it several times a week. I often cook up batches of green lentils or chickpeas then freeze for later.

    I make a cheats vegetable and lentil rissotto, also a similar mix with pasta instead of rice. Rice pudding in the pressure cooker is yummy and quick. One day I'd like to try steamed pudding.

  5. Its surprising to find that the way we cook here in India, and how you do it in your end of the world are so different!
    We use the pressure cooker like, all the time. All our dals (pulses), rice, veggies are cooked in them (non-veg too). saves time and gas. Used Daily, with appreciation :) most houses here have a few different cookers - sizes, types (narrow,wide), etc...
    We just got a steamer - its approx the same cooking time, but runs on electricity, and is a healthier way to eat (apparently!) - so far we have experimented with veggies.

    Wish you a lovely Wednesday :)

  6. Ishieta and Lisa in particular...are you familiar with this lovely US/Indian blogger ...here you can see her parent's kitchen in India. She has some wonderful recipes too.

    Chris, I hope you do try again with the beans. I'm finding the pressure cooker doesn't force the skins off the beans that seems to happen when I cook them in an ordinary pan.

  7. http://www.veggiebelly.com/2011/08/my-parents-indian-kitchen-a-peek.html

    I forgot to post the link lol