Adding Salt to Cooking Legumes

I was asked recently:

“I have heard that adding salt during the cooking process results in the skins of mung beans to harden.”


Here’s the answer:

You are correct! This is the same with all dried beans, legumes, dals and pulses. Never add salt to the water while cooking them for that reason. They will take much longer to break down and become soft, and in some cases, like the heavy pulses such as chickpeas etc, they will never really get soft at all.

The same thing applies with adding anything salty such as tamari, soy sauce, miso etc AND anything sweet such as sugar, honey etc AND anything sour such as lemon, vinegar, tamarind, tomato etc.

All the above need adding AFTER the beans fully cook and reach the desired stage of softness or ‘broken-down-edness’.
Posted by Kurma on 28/2/06; 6:51:32 AM

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