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Soaking & Cooking Dry Beans

 Published 2011-Sep-12   Updated 2021-Oct-26

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Quick Soaking of Beans, Slow Cooker Method for Soaking Beans)

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Most of the dry beans like chickpeas, black beans, peas, double beans, kidney beans etc require some preparation work before they can be used in any recipes. The beans has to be first soaked and then cooked until it is tender before using it in soups or gravies. Some other beans like green gram, black gram etc. does not require soaking. However, if you soak them it will drastically reduce the cooking time.

How To Soak And Cook Dry Beans?

Here are a few methods that can be used for soaking and cooking beans. Traditionally in India, the beans is soaked overnight and then pressure cooked. When I was in US, I had a slow cooker which was very handy in soaking and cooking beans at the same time. I have shared that method too. I have also shared the quick soaking process where you can soak and cook the dry beans in less that 2 hours.

The beans almost triples in volume after soaking. So choose a large vessel and use plenty of water.


  • Dry Beans - 1 cup 
  • Water (for soaking) - 4 cups
  • Water (for cooking) - 4 cups
  • Salt - 1 tsp

Dry Chickpea

Method 1 (Traditional Soaking Method)

  1. Wash the dry beans  2-3 times.
  2. Put it in a large bowl and pour enough water so that the beans are completely submerged.

    Cooking and Soaking Chickpea Step

  3. Let it sit like this overnight or for 8-10 hours. The beans would have plumped up after soaking. Drain the water in which the beans was soaking.

    Cooking and Soaking Chickpea Step

  4. After the beans are soaked, take it in a pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed vessel. Add water, salt and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. If you are using a normal vessel, cook it for about 1 hour till the beans become tender. The beans should be soft but not mushy.

    Cooking and Soaking Chickpea Step

    Cooking and Soaking Chickpea Step

NOTE: The cooking time depends on the type of beans you are using. Some beans take longer to cook but some cook very quickly. Harder beans like chickpeas, kidney beans, double beans need 3 whistles in the pressure cooker. Softer beans like green peas, green gram, black gram, horse gram etc. need just 1 whistle after it is soaked.

Cooking and Soaking Chickpea

Method 2 (Quick Soaking Method)

  1. Fill a large vessel with water and bring it to a boil. I usually use my pressure cooker itself for this.
  2. Wash the beans and add it to the boiling water.
  3. Let the beans boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Switch off the stove and let the beans soak in this hot water for 1 or 2 hours. If you want to maintain the water hot, leave the beans and the hot water in a casserole or thermal flask.
  5. The beans will be soaked by now. Cook it using the pressure cooker or in an open pot using the regular cooking process.

Method 3 (Slow Cooker No Soak Method)

  1. Wash the beans and put it in a slow cooker.
  2. Add enough water so that the beans will be completely immersed.
  3. Add 1 tsp of salt to this. Since this method soaks and cooks the beans simultaneously, it is important to add salt.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on "low" and leave it for 8-10 hours or on "high" and leave it for 6-8 hours. The beans gets completely cooked. It saves the soaking time.

More Dry Beans Recipes

Black Bean Patties Black Bean Patties Chikpea Salad Channa Chaat (Chikpea Salad) Red Chori Vadai Red Chori Vadai Horsegram Curry Horsegram Curry
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (4)

Person   ()
are beans generally considered "sprouted" after soaking for 10 hours? I've heard it said that "all" Indian cooks "sprout" beans/legumes prior to using in dishes, so I wonder whether this is considered sprouting even though a sprout is not yet visible. Thank You.
Person   ()
Hi Renee, Beans is not considered as sprouted immediately after soaking. After soaking the beans, it is covered in a moist cloth or a covered vessel and left in room temperature for a day and the sprouts will appear.
Person   ()
Hello! I've been looking everywhere for this information, you're a lifesaver :)
In Method 2: Quick Soaking Method, after you've boiled the beans and have left them to soak for a few hours, do you drain the water or do you cook them in the water they were briefly boiled and then soaked in?
Person   ()
I like to drain and take fresh water.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2021-10-26.