Pulses Seeds in a pod are known as pulses. Go To



Preparation of Pulses

Classic Dishes


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They come from a group of vegetables known as legumes.
These are plants with a double seemed pod containing a single row of seeds.

There are three types of Legume:

• those eaten in the pod and therefore young and tender eg Mange Tout

• those that are left to mature and eaten fresh without the pod

• those that are dried

Pulse are generally divided into three types




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Types of Pea

• Marrowfat

Sweet flavour - tough skin floury texture

• Split Green Pea

Disintegrate when cooked

used in puree soups

Pease pudding

• Split Yellow peas

used in puree soups or as a puréed vegetable

• Chick peas (not strictly a pulse)

Nutty taste absorb flavours & keep shape

used to make Humus

widely used in Middle east & Asian Cookery

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Types of bean

• Soya bean

• Red Kidney

• Mung

• White haricot

• Green flageolet

• Blackeyed [back to the top]

• Aduki

• Borloto

• Pinto

• Broad bean

• Lima

• Butter bean

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Types of Lentil

Red & Yellow

Green & brown


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Preparation of Pulses


• Should have a clear bright colour and a plump appearance

• Unbroken - not dusty (sign of age)

• Even sized

• Older drier pulses need longer cooking & tend to fall apart during cooking

• Pick over carefully to remove grit and husks

• Take care not to allow to ferment once soaked


Most dried pulses require soaking before cooking

to aid reconstitution, shorten cooking time & prevent splitting

Some need little or no soaking such as lentils.

Use cold water or bring to boil & allow to stand

Allw to double in volume - use large pot

Bicarbonate of soda can be used to soften skin BUTthis gives soapy taste
and makes more difficult to digest.

1ltr water to 500g


All dried pulses cooked by slow simmering in a covered pan stirring occasionally - on top of stove or in oven.

Always use large pan to allow for expansion.

Salt & acid ingredients toughen pulse skins and should be added after the pulse is cooked

Rapid boiling for the first ten minutes with Kidney beans is recommended to destroy a poisonous enzyme

How would you treat a fresh pulse?

Cook in Boiling salted water for mininmum time

Test cooking by tasting.

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Some Classic dishes made using Pulses

Can you identify the pulse used and other main ingredients ?

• Baked Beans

• Boston Baked beans

• White beans with port

Bean salads variety of mixtures and adde to other salad ingredients

• Mexican bean salad

• Four Bean salad

• Cassoulet

• (bean sprouts)

Various soups

• Lentil soup - Puree Egyptian

• Crema de Lima

• Puree/Creme St Germaine

• Flageolet Puree

• Lentil and mushroom burgers

• Certain varieties of minestrone

various stews - casseroles

• Cassoulet

• Mexican Chilli (con Carne)

various side dishes or starters


• Tarka/Khatti Dal

• falafel deep-fried chick pea balls


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