Pulses: why buy dry?

Pulses: why buy dry?

by Josiah Meldrum

Even with spiralling energy prices, cooking pulses from dried can save you money.

We cooked dried whole yellow peas in a pressure cooker to make a delicious hummus style dip, measuring the peas before and after cooking, and calculating the energy used to cook them.

We estimate that it took less than 30p worth of electricity (at June 2022 prices) to cook a £1.99 half kilo of peas. We soaked the peas overnight before cooking in a pressure cooker, for 20 minutes at pressure, on an induction hob, then left to cool (while still cooking) for 20 minutes before opening the pressure cooker.

We ended up with just over 1.3kg drained cooked peas from the 500g dried - enough to make plenty of hummus* or keep some in the fridge or freezer for quick use later. The total cost of the cooked peas works out at just 42p per 240g, the equivalent of a drained can of pulses. In most shops a can of chickpeas tends to costs around 60 or 70p - and premium or organic are well over £1. With the other ingredients and blending, our hummus cost well under 60p per 200g, less than half the price of typical supermarket hummus and muc tastier to boot.

Plus when cooking from dried you can choose your desired texture and seasoning. We love to cook dried pulses with aromatics like bay, garlic, onion, lemon, rosemary, pepper corns, epazote or kelp to give a depth of flavour and a quality that you could never achieve with a can of ready cooked beans.

*With the cooking liquid and other ingredients our 500g dried peas made close to 2kg of hummus. This may seem a lot but hummus is more than just a dip! We make hummus of all kinds to use as a pasta sauce, added to roast potatoes (mix in once the potatoes are roasted and return to the oven for 10 minutes to heat through), as an alternative to white sauce in lasagne or moussaka, to thicken soups, cooked in a pie and more! The hummus will keep in the fridge for a few days and freezes well.

What do you think - dried or canned?




Josiah Meldrum
Josiah Meldrum

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