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Old 04-20-2009, 01:48 AM   #1
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How to prepare dried Peas?

I'll first ask for everyone's patience as this is my second post (and I just joined the forum!) on a similar topic. I bought a 50# bag of "Whole Green Peas", and we tried to make peas for a side dish. They didn't come out well, but I think we made a basic error. My wife read that peas didn't need to soak, so she didn't, and just cooked them in the pressure cooker. They just seemed too "hard" (I think they *wanted* to taste like we expected them to -- unlike the corn experience in my other posting). I suspect that *split* peas need not be soaked, but that whole peas need to be soaked. Is that likely what we did wrong, or are these peas not really "sweet table peas" ...? Thank you for your help.

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:43 AM   #2
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I've never tried to do dried peas in a pressure cooker, but have been told it does not work. One pressure cooker I owned warned never to cook dried peas in it. Something about the size and they could get stuck in the valve?

The one time I did cook whole dried peas (as opposed to split peas), I cooked them the same way I do split peas, that is to say with a ham bone and some onions and garlic, until they turned into a thick soup.

Hey, we must have some people on the site from England .... I think this may be the source of a dish they used to call something like mushy peas. If I think of it tomorrow, I'll call a friend of mine from England and see what she knows about it. But I'd stick to using them for long-cooking soups and stews rather than as a side dish.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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In Indian food we use dried peas just like we use many other dried beans. I use both white and green dried peas.

You definitely have to soak them. Here is how I normally cook them.

I either soak them in water overnight or if I am pressed for time. I cover them with water, bring them to a full boil, shut the stove and let them sit for 2 hours.

You can then either pressure cook them (I don't like to do that since they get too mushy) or just drain out the water it's soaking in, add fresh water, pinch of salt and let it cook until tender.

You can then use it any way you'd like.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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I don't know about soaking the entire night, but soaking in hot water for awhile is necessary to hydrate them. Most of the time I just toss them in to my stew or soup and the liquid and cooking hydrates them nicely.

I have extra cans of peas occasionally which I dehydrate to save space and keep with my emergency supplies.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:47 PM   #5
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Claire & Yakuta -- thanks for the info & ideas; we'll experiment to see what works for us. McNerd -- when you say that when you have extra cans of peas, you dehydrate them to keep with your emergency supplies, does this result in the same thing ("dry green peas") that I purchased, or are yours therefore already cooked? (Forgive my ignorance in my questions, but this is a bit of a new world for me)
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:27 PM   #6
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Canned peas are cooked so the quality when dehydrated is not quite as good as fresh peas that have been only blanched before dehydrating.

In my case it is more for added convenience and flexibility.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:54 AM   #7
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mcnerd -- so, you use Dry Peas (such as what I bought) without soaking them by directly adding to stews or soups. And you use canned peas for other things (and sometimes dehydrate these yourself)?
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:36 AM   #8
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I can't speak for your peas, but you should be able to test/taste them by hydrating in some boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Normal dehydrated sweet peas would be added at the beginning of the cooking process so they have time to hydrate properly. Canned peas should only be added at the END of a cooking process or they would turn to mush.

This should not be confused with dried Beans which must be presoaked for a long time before being cooked.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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mcnerd -- I appreciate your continued responsiveness, and apologize for my inexperience, but I am still confused. Let me summarize what I *think* I've understood from your notes:

  1. Canned sweet peas (as bought at the store) are added at the end of the cooking process
  2. Dehydrated sweet peas (which are peas that originated as canned sweet peas, but you dehydrated them) are added at the beginning of the cooking process, as this allows them time to hydrate
  3. Dried whole peas, like dried beans, must be soaked for a long period, and then ...?
The reason for my question on #3 is that I believe that the soaked dried peas are now re-hydrated to their original state, which is raw, uncooked. Aren't canned sweet peas already cooked? If so, the soaked dried peas aren't the same as the re-hydrated hydrated sweet peas. Therefore (if I am right above), they aren't in the same state as either of the first two examples. So, would I need to cook them first, or perhaps only cook them part-way before then adding at the start of the cooking process?

Again, I am sorry for learning so slowly!
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:16 PM   #10
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I guess when I said don't be confused with dried Beans which must be presoaked for a long time before being cooked, that confused you.

Dried peas do NOT need a long hydrating period.

#2 is not entirely correct because most dehydrated pea are NOT from canned (cooked) peas. Fresh peas that have been dehydrated still have to go through a cooking process.

#3 is not correct because peas are not the same as beans as stated.
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