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dried beans


I have a question about some dried beans we bought.  They look like 
small chickpeas with extremely tough dark reddish-brown skins.  I'm 
pretty sure they're some sort of gram dal--perhaps chana dal before 
it's split and skinned?  The problem is, we're not sure what to do 
with them, and we've got 10 lbs.  I tried soaking and cooking 
some of them (a *very* long time) to see if the skins might loosen 
and come off, but it didn't work, and the skins made them inedible.  
I'd appreciate any suggestions on preparing these things--it's been 
quite disheartening! :)

Also, does anyone have recipes using besan (chickpea flour), other 
than in pakoras?  I enjoy it, and would like to do more with it.


Rachel B.