Skip to main content

Pulses Pantry

There are thousands of different pulses that are consumed around the world; however The Pulse Pantry will be limited to those used in this blog. The origin of each pulse, cooking instructions and nutrient content has been included.

Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans, also known as aduki or red beans. Archaeological evidence indicates they were cultivated in Japan between 4000BC and 2000BC. They are cultivated extensively throughout East Asia and the Himalayas. These small oval burgundy-red beans have a distinctive white ridge along one side. They have a sweet, nutty flavour and velvety texture and are often used in sweets and desserts. The red colour of the beans is associated with luck and happiness in China.

Cooking Instructions

Stovetop

Soak 195g (1 cup) dried adzuki beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put the beans in a large saucepan, add water to cover the beans by 5cm (2 inches), and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Soak 195g (1 cup) dried adzuki beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a pressure cooker with 1 litre (35 fl oz or 4 cups) water. Cook at high pressure for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Nutrient Content

NutrientPer 100g (3 1/2 oz) cooked beans
Energy535 kJ (127 cal)
Protein7.5g
Fat0.1g
Saturated fat0g
Carbohydrate 17.4g
Dietary fibre7.3g
Calcium28mg
Magnesium52mg
Phosphorus168mg
dried adzuki beans on a black dish
Adzuki beans

 

Black Beans

Black beans, also known as black turtle beans, couldn’t be more appropriately named because of their beautiful shiny black skins. Black beans are used extensively in South America, Cajun and Creole cuisines and are a key ingredient in Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. They have a deep, rich ‘meaty’ flavour and dense creamy texture when cooked. Even the cooking water is quite flavoursome and can be used as stock for making soups or stews. Uncooked black beans contain the compound phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause digestive upsets. This compound is deactivated by soaking, rinsing and then boiling the beans for 10 minutes. Slow-cookers do not reach high enough temperatures to deactivate the phytohaemagglutinin, so if you’re preparing black beans in a slow-cooker, you should first soak and boil them as outlined above. Tinned black beans are safe to use immediately.

Cooking Instructions

Stovetop

Soak 220g (7 ¾ oz or 1 cup) dried black beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times, then drain. Put them in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover the beans by 5cm (2 inches), and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Soak 220g (7 ¾ oz or 1 cup) dried black beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight. Rinse 2-3 times, then drain. Put them in a pressure cooker with 1 litre (35 fl oz or 4 cups) water. Cook at high pressure for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Nutrient Content

NutrientPer 100g (3 ½ oz) cooked beans
Energy464 kJ (110 cal)
Protein8.2g
Fat0.7g
Saturated fat0.1g
Carbohydrate12.6g
Dietary fibre8.8g
Folate140ug
Magnesium49mg
Iron2.1mg
dried black beans on a black dish
Black beans

Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans, also known as Cranberry beans or Roman beans, are creamy white beans with red-pink markings on the pods and the seeds. During cooking the beans lose their markings and turn a light brown colour. When cooked, borlotti beans, have a creamy, ‘meaty’ texture and a nutty flavour. The beans are thought to be a variety of common bean first bred in Colombia and overtime, have become popular in Italian and Portuguese cuisine.

Cooking Instructions

Stovetop

Soak 190g (6 ¾ oz or 1 cup) dried beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover the beans by 5 cm (2 inches) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Soak 190g (6 ¾ oz or 1 cup) dried beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a pressure cooker with 1 litre (35 fl oz or 4 cups) water. Cook at high pressure for 10-15 minutes. Drain.

Nutrient Content

NutrientPer 100g (3 1/2 oz) cooked beans
Energy568 kJ (135 cal)
Protein9.3g
Fat0.5g
Saturated fat0.1g
Carbohydrate14.5g
Dietary fibre10g
Folate207ug
Magnesium50mg
Phosphorus135mg

Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are prominent in Italian cuisine, particularly in Tuscan recipes. It is thought the bean was originally cultivated in Argentina by Italian immigrants and later taken back to Italy and grown commercially. When cooked, cannellini beans have a fluffy texture and a slightly nutty, mild flavour. They can be used as a substitute for potato to make a creamy mash (as shown in the Baked Salmon & Cannellini Bean Cakes recipe), as well as be added to baked goods such as biscuits or cakes, replacing some of the butter or flour content, or both.

Cooking Instructions

Stovetop

Soak 195g (1 cup) dried cannellini beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a large saucepan, add water to cover the beans by 5cm (2 inches), and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Soak 195g (1 cup) dried cannellini beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a pressure cooker with 1 litre (35 fl oz or 4 cups) water. Cook at high pressure for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Nutrient Content

NutrientPer 100g (3 1/2 oz) cooked beans
Energy404 kJ (96 cal)
Protein6.2g
Fat0.6g
Saturated fat0.2g
Carbohydrate12.2g
Dietary fibre6.4g
Calcium46mg
Folate81ug
Magnesium30mg
Potassium260mg

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans (Spain); kabuli, desi, chana (split/dal), bengal gram (India); and hummus (Arab states) are one of the earliest cultivated legumes, dating back some 7500 years to the Middle East. The two commonly known types of chickpeas are desi and kabuli (pictured below), less known is the Bombay chickpea. Desi are smaller and have a more wrinkled skin and a higher fibre content. Desi is probably the earliest variety because it closely resembles seeds found both on archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor of domesticated chickpeas, which only grows in southeast Turkey, where it is believed to have originated. Kabuli on the other hand, are larger and smoother than desi are thought to have originated in Kabul, Afghanistan then introduced into India in the 18th century.

Cooking Instructions

Stovetop

Soak 200g (1 cup) dried chickpeas in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a large saucepan, add water to cover the chickpeas by 5 cm (2 inches), and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Soak 200g (1 cup) dried chickpeas in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a pressure cooker with 1 litre of water (35 fl oz or 4 cups) water. Cooker at high pressure for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Nutrient Content

NutrientPer 100g (3 1/2 oz) cooked beans
Energy 466 kJ (111 cal)
Protein6.3g
Fat2.1g
Saturated fat0.2g
Carbohydrate13.3g
Dietary fibre4.7g
Folate63ug
Iron1.8mg
Phosphorus86mg
dried chickpeas on a black plate
Kabuli Chickpeas

Haricot Beans

Haricot beans are also known as navy beans because they were the staple food of the United States navy in the early 1800s. Even today, they are the beans used in commercially produced canned baked beans. Smaller than the cannellini bean, they are creamy white in colour and have a dense texture when cooked. They have a mild flavour and team well with stronger flavours such as tomatoes, onions and garlic.

Cooking Instructions

Stovetop

Soak 220g (7 ¾ oz or 1 cup) dried beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a large saucepan, add water to cover the chickpeas by 5 cm (2 inches), and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1- 1 ½ hours or until tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Soak 220g (7 ¾ oz or 1 cup) dried beans in cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a pressure cooker with 1 litre of water (35 fl oz or 4 cups) water. Cooker at high pressure for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Nutrient Content

NutrientPer 100g (3 1/2 oz) cooked beans
Energy464 kJ (110 cal)
Protein8.2g
Fat0.7g
Saturated fat0.1g
Carbohydrate12.6g
Dietary fibre8.8g
Calcium57mg
Folate140ug
Magnesium49mg
Potassium340mg
dried haricot beans on a black plate
Haricot beans

 

Kidney Beans

These kidney shaped beans are thought to have originated in Peru and were spread throughout South and Central America by Peruvian Indian traders. In the 15th century Spanish explorers introduced them to Europe and subsequently Africa and Asia. They retain their shape and texture during cooking, so they’re popular in slow-cooked dishes and curries. Kidney beans are generally the preferred bean used in Chili con carne style dishes and Creole red beans and rice. Like black beans, uncooked kidney beans contain the compound phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause digestive upsets. This compound is deactivated by soaking, rinsing and then boiling the beans for 10 minutes. Slow-cookers do not reach high enough temperatures to deactivate the phytohaemagglutinin, so if you’re preparing kidney beans in a slow-cooker, you should first soak and boil them as outlined above. Tinned kidney beans are safe to use immediately.

Cooking Instructions

Stovetop

Soak 190g (6 ¾ or 1 cup) dried red kidney beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover the beans by 5 cm (2 inches), and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Soak 190g (6 ¾ or 1 cup) dried kidney beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight (8-12 hours). Rinse 2-3 times and drain. Put them in a pressure cooker with 1 litre (35 fl oz or 4 cups) water. Cook at high pressure for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Nutrient Content

NutrientPer 100g (3 1/2 oz) cooked beans
Energy382kJ / 91 cal
Protein7.9g
Fat0.5g
Saturated fat0.1g
Carbohydrate9.1g
Dietary fibre7.2g
Folate130ug
Iron1.7mg
Magnesium38mg
Potassium290mg

Lentils

Lentils have been a part of the human diet for some 13,000 years. They are believed to have originated in central Asia since pre-historic times and have been excavated at archeological sites in the Middle East dating back 8,000 years. Lentils have been mentioned in the Bible when Esau traded his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup and as a part of a bread that was made during the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people. In many Catholic countries, lentils have long been used as a staple food during lent. Lentils range in colour from yellow to red, green, brown and black. These lens shaped pulses can be tiny or slightly larger flatter varieties. Red lentils are hulled (skin removed) and split (dal) though not as nutritious as the green, brown and black varieties. Then there’s mung beans (or green gram) which are a beautiful green colour and

Rinsepopular in some Indian dishes. These guys can also be split (creating chilka dal) or hulled (skin removed) and split to form yellow mung dal.

Cooking Instructions

The manufacturers of some pressure cookers recommend against cooking split lentils by this method because they tend to foam and splutter and can clog the value. Check the instruction manual provided with your pressure cooker.

Puy (French Green) Lentils

Stovetop

Rinse and drain 210g (7 ½ oz/1 cup) Puy lentils. Put them in a large saucepan with 1.5 litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until just tender. Drain.

Pressure Cooker

Rinse and drain 210g (7 ½ oz/1 cup) Puy lentils. Cook with 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water at high pressure for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Brown or Green Lentils

Red Split Lentils

Yellow Split Lentils (Mung dal)

Stay tuned, more pulses will be added soon …

Sources:

  • Superlegumes: eat your way to great health by Chrissy Freer
  • Legumes: the superfoods that should be regulars on your plate by Swarna Moldanado