Coronavirus (COVID-19) &FAQs

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If you are unsure how to soak pulses, what to cook or how to season your meals then look no further!

Buying loose produce can be a little intimidating – especially if you are new to cooking for yourself, but it doesn’t have to be! Having a couple of go to recipes is a great way to ease into cooking for yourself.

Cooking with pulses

When buying dried pulses, it’s really important to know how to soak them properly and how long you need to soak them for. Generally, its best to soak pulses overnight by covering them with water so that they expand. In the morning you should pour away the old water and replace it until you are ready to use your them. The chart below shows how long different pulses need to be soaked for and if they require being soaked overnight.

Type of bean / pulse

Soak overnight

Cook Time Pressure Cooker

Cook Time Saucepan

Red lentils

No

8-10 mins

25-30 mins

Puy lentils

No

8-10 mins

45-50 mins

Brown lentils

No

12-15 mins

45-50 mins

Mung beans

No

12-15 mins

15-20  mins

Black beans

Yes

10-12 mins

1.5-2 hours 

Kidney beans

Yes

10-12 mins

1.5-2 hours

Haricot beans

Yes

12-15 mins

1.5-2 hours

Cannellini beans

Yes

12-15 mins

1.5-2 hours

Chickpeas

Yes

12-15 mins

1-2 hours

Butter beans

Yes

15-20 mins

30 mins-1 hour

Yellow split peas

No

10-12 mins

1.5-2 hours

Aduki beans

Yes

10-12 mins

1-1.5 hours

Soy beans

Yes

15-20 mins

3-3.5 hours

 

Spice Things Up!

One great way to advance your cooking skills and become more comfortable in the kitchen is by experimenting with different herbs and spices. This chart shows which herbs and spices work well with specific cuisines. Don’t be afraid to explore new flavours – next time you make a meal have a look at this table and try adding some herbs/spices that you haven’t used before!

Vegetable Chilli Recipe

Vegetable chilli a cheap, quick and easy dinner to rustle together after a day of studying (or not!). This is a great staple to learn how to make and you can even freeze it for up to 3 months.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 400g black beans
  • 400g kidney beans
  • lime wedges
  • guacamole
  • rice
  • coriander to serve

(Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food)

Method:

STEP 1

Soak your black beans and kidney beans using the bean chart.

(NOTE: you will have to soak them overnight).

STEP 2

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Put the sweet potato in a roasting tin and drizzle over 1½ tbsp oil, 1 tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin. Give everything a good mix so that all the chunks are coated in spices, season with salt and pepper, then roast for 25 mins until cooked.

STEP 3

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until soft, then crush in the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Add the remaining dried spices and tomato purée. Give everything a good mix and cook for 1 min more.

STEP 4

Add the red pepper, chopped tomatoes and 200ml water. Bring the chilli to a boil, then simmer for 20 mins. Tip in the beans and cook for another 10 mins before adding the sweet potato. Season to taste then serve with lime wedges, guacamole, rice and coriander.