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Can I rescue split pea disaster?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by nick909, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Did you add any salt?
    Salt can toughen the skin of pulses if added at the start of cooking. Best to add toward the end of cooking or to cook the pulses separately and thn add to the dish.
    Hard water also lengthens the cooking times of pulses. Something to do with the calcium and magnesium present in hard water which is also present in the cell walls of many pulses, meaning it further protects the cell walls you are trying to break down. This is what happens with the salt as well!
    And it is possible that they are old, even if you have just bought them.
    If you carry on cooking, they should eventually break down. Liquidising will just result in a grainy dish if they're not cooked.
  2. I was also going to ask if you added salt, although this won't prevent them going soft eventually.
    Sometimes the dried stuff you buy can have been on the shelves a while - and as you say yourself, this means they need cooking for ages (and some may still stay hard).
    It is true about the hard and soft water - however, I live in a really hard water area and have never had any problems (chick peas and kidney beans tend to take longer than usual sometimes, but never any problems with split peas or lentils).
    My tip is that they were unfortunately old split peas - all you can do is keep cooking them, to try to break down the husk, which will have hardened and then does not let moisture through easily.


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