Do you want to learn how to cook dried peas without soaking them? Dried peas are often in our pantry jars, but what exactly are they, and how do you cook them? This article will guide anyone planning on experimenting with dried peas in the kitchen for the first time or who would like some extra cooking tips.
How to Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking
During my trip to India, nothing made me happier than delicious curries of peas, tomatoes, coconut, and spices. The taste and texture of the peas, the flavor bomb of the spices... and the freshness of the herbs. Missing those experiences, I started playing around with cooking different types of whole peas and split peas in my kitchen at home.
In this article, I have put together step-by-step instructions and tips on cooking dried peas without soaking (and soaking!) that will help you in your cooking journey.
What are Dried Whole Peas Vs Split Peas?
A common question I get asked is, what is the difference between dried green peas and split peas? Essentially, both dried whole peas and split peas are the same. Split peas are made from the whole pea drying out, the outer skin being removed, and the pea naturally splitting in two.
The drying process removes the moisture from the peas and makes long-term storage more manageable. This means that dried peas are generally relatively cheap and are widely available at most supermarkets and grocers.
The flavor of dried peas is slightly hardier than fresh peas and is celebrated in various dishes such as an Indian Vatana curry or a classic pea and ham soup.
There are green and yellow split peas depending on which parent plant they are harvested from.
- Green dried peas - stronger vegetal flavor
- Yellow dried peas - milder flavor
How to Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking - Time Chart
The cooking time for dried peas will vary due to the natural differences and the seasonality of when the peas were picked from the plant and then dried.
To answer the common question of 'how long does it take to boil dried peas?' follow this general guide:
Instructions for Cooking Unsoaked Dried Whole Peas
Cooking dried whole peas, without soaking, on the stove is one of the easiest methods. No fancy tools or gadgets are needed.
- Rinse 1 cup of dried peas in a colander with cool tap water to remove any discolored peas or other impurities.
- Add the peas to 3 cups of cold water in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Let the water boil over high heat, and then simmer uncovered for approximately 60 to 75 minutes or until tender.
- Drain the peas, and use!
2. Pressure Cooker
A pressure cooker is a faster way for how to cook dry green peas without soaking:
- Rinse 1 cup of whole dried peas in a sieve with cold water to remove any impurities, debris, or dirt.
- Place the dried peas in a pressure cooker and cover them with cold water. Note - always read the instructions for your particular pressure cooker, as each model can vary in its water recommendation and cooking time.
- Turn on high pressure for 10 to 15 minutes (in my pressure cooker model 10 minutes will keep your peas firm, while 15 minutes will make them more tender).
- To amp up the flavor, add vegetable stock instead of water and herbs such as parsley, thyme, and bay leaves.
3. Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is an all-in-one pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker. An Instant Pot is a good way of making whole dried pea recipes faster. However, if you're planning on cooking split peas, only use the stovetop as a Pressure Cooker, or Instant Pot can make the split peas mushy.
- Rinse 1 cup of dried whole peas under cold water to remove debris or dirt.
- Place the peas in the Instant Pot and cover them with cold water. Note - always read the instructions for your particular Instant Pot or similar versions from Cuisinart or Breville, as each model can vary in water recommendation and cooking time.
- Turn on for 10 minutes (the Instant Pot takes a while to pressurize, so the whole 10 minutes isn't cooking time).
How do you Cook Dried Green Peas With Soaking?
Now that you know how to cook dried peas without soaking, it is just as crucial for you to know how to cook whole dried peas with soaking:
- Rinse 1 cup of dried green whole peas under cold water to remove discolored peas or debris.
- Soak the whole peas in a bowl of cold water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain the water. Add the peas to a saucepan filled with 3 cups of fresh water.
- Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 40 to 55 minutes or until tender.
Instructions for Cooking Unsoaked Dried Split Peas
Now that you know how to cook whole dried peas, I will explain how to cook dried split peas.
You can easily cook split peas on the stovetop without soaking them first. As the skin on the split peas has been removed, they cook much quicker than whole peas. There is also no need to use a Pressure cooker or an Instant Pot as the intense heat can make the split peas mushy.
Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to cook dried split peas without soaking:
- Rinse 1 cup of dried split peas in a colander with cool tap water to remove any discolored peas or other impurities.
- Add the split peas to 3 cups of cold water in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Let the water come to a boil over high heat, and then simmer with no lid for 35 to 45 minutes until tender.
How Long Does it Take for Dried Peas to Cook?
Here is a reference guide for how to cook dried split peas without soaking:
|Type of Peas||Method||Soak Time||Boil Time|
|Split peas||unsoaked||0 hours||35 - 45 minutes|
|Split peas||soaked||6 - 8 hours||20 - 30 minutes|
|Whole peas||unsoaked||0 hours||60 - 75 minutes|
|Whole peas||soaked||6 - 8 hours||40 - 55 minutes|
Can I Cook Split Peas With Soaking?
Is it better to soak split peas? It isn't better to soak split peas; it just reduces the cooking time.
To cook soaked dried split peas on the stovetop, follow these instructions:
- Rinse 1 cup of split peas in a sieve with cool water to remove any discolored peas or debris.
- Soak the split peas in cold water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain the water. Add the peas to a saucepan filled with 3 cups (24 oz) of fresh cold water.
- Let the water come to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.
Dried Peas Vs Lentils
Like dried beans and peas, lentils are also a legume full of nutrients. Lentils make a great substitute for dried peas in cooking, and you can choose to soak or not soak them beforehand. They can range in color from black and brown to red, orange, yellow, and green. Each color of lentil has its own unique flavor and texture. Like dried peas, they are inexpensive to buy and can be stored without refrigeration for a long time. And the best part... they are oh-so-delicious!
Different types of lentils have been widely used in cooking across India, North Africa, and the Middle East for centuries. Think Ethiopian red lentil stew misir wat, Lebanese mujadara, and Indian green lentil dahl.
Other Types of Dried Peas to Cook
Cooked marrowfat peas have a different consistency from regular green peas. They are traditionally used in English mushy peas, a recipe often served with fish and chips.
Marrowfat Peas Recipe: Mushy Peas
To make easy mushy peas, soak the dried marrowfat peas in a bowl of water overnight. Rinse and add the peas to a saucepan of boiling water and simmer until tender. Mash the peas and stir in butter, finely chopped mint, and juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Easy and delicious!
Chickpeas are a pulse and part of the legume family from which peas are from. Chickpeas are used in a range of dishes from many countries around the world. One of my favorite chickpeas recipes is hummus.
Chickpeas Recipe: Hummus
- Place 1 cup of dried chickpeas in a large bowl of water and leave to soak overnight.
- Strain and add soaked chickpeas to 3 cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan. Boil for 45 minutes or until tender. Strain and set aside to cool.
- Place ¼ cup lemon juice and 1 clove of garlic in a food processor. Process until the garlic is finely chopped.
- Add ⅓ cup tahini, a pinch of salt, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Blend until thick and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the processor.
- Add 1 ½ cups of the cooked chickpeas (note: you can use canned chickpeas) and ½ teaspoon of ground cumin. With the food processor running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and process until smooth. Taste and add more salt and water if needed.
How To Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking - FAQ
Why do we Soak Peas? - How to Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking
Why do you Soak Peas Before Cooking? Many dried peas, especially whole peas, benefit from being soaked for 6 to 8 hours before being cooked. This soaking reduces the cooking time and ensures that the peas cook evenly. It also means that you can put the dried peas in a bowl to soak overnight and then cook them the next night for dinner.
Why are my Peas Hard? - How To Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking
Why won't my split peas get soft? There are different possibilities for why your peas remain hard, including not soaking or cooking them for long enough. Refer to the Dried Peas Cooking and Soaking Guide in this article which offers a quick reference for the cooking and soaking times for each type of dried pea.
However, if the peas are still hard, even after sufficient soaking and cooking time, there is another possibility. The peas may be old and extremely dry, and no amount of soaking will soften them.
Can Dried Green Peas be Cooked Without Soaking?
Is it Necessary to Soak Green Peas? You can cook dried green peas without soaking them in liquid, but they will take far longer to cook. Unsoaked green split peas will take approximately 35-45 minutes; unsoaked whole green peas take up to 75 minutes to cook.
How To Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking - How do you Soak Green Peas Quickly?
There isn't a way to soak green peas quickly. If you are in a rush, use split peas instead of whole peas, as they take half the time to cook.
How To Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking - Why Should I Wash the Dried Peas First?
It is best to rinse dried peas before using them, as they may not have been thoroughly cleaned before being packaged. To wash them, place the dried peas in a colander and rinse with fresh cold water. This will remove any discolored peas or debris.
How Long Should Peas be Soaked Before Cooking?
Dried unsoaked peas should be soaked in water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
How to Store Uncooked Dried Peas?
Store your uncooked dried peas in an airtight container in a dry and cool place. If stored correctly, dried peas can last for years.
How to Store Cooked Dried Peas?
Store your cooked dried peas in the fridge for up to one week. You can also transfer the peas to an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How to Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking - What to Cook with Dried Peas
- Dried peas are great for soups such as pea and ham soup or a Mediterranean split pea soup. Read my article for 27+ ideas of what to serve with soup.
- Dried pea puree with shallot, garlic, and lemon.
- Yellow split peas are commonly used in Indian dhal recipes. Use split peas instead of lentils in my green lentil dahl recipe.
- Green pea Vatana curry is a delicious Indian staple.
- Whole yellow peas curry with the flavors of cinnamon, turmeric, and fennel.
- Chickpeas for middle eastern-style hummus.
- Dried marrowfat peas are traditionally served with fish and chips in the English mushy peas recipe.
How to Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking
- 1 medium size saucepan
- 1 cup dried whole green peas (or whole yellow peas) unsoaked
- 3 cups water
- Rinse the dried peas in a seive under cool water to remove any debris or impurities.
- Add the peas and water to a medium-sized saucepan.
- Bring the water to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 60 to 75 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain and use.
How to Cook Dried Peas Without Soaking - In Conclusion
Now that you know how to cook dried peas without soaking, you'll add them to everything! Yes, dried peas are delicious! Off you go… Buy some next time you visit your local Indian grocer, and make yourself a tasty meal or side dish out of them.