So today I tried one of my (as I have recently learned not so genuine) Indian dishes: Dal Makhni (also Dal Makhani).

There are different recipes, some mix urad beans with red kidney beans, I went for one that only called for urad beans.

Anyway, I soaked them (at room temperature) for at least 16 hours (simple, cold, tap water) and yet in the ready dish we found little black dry beans whose husk seemingly hadn't been affected by the water. The beans had all been "subsurface", though.

It was the only disappointment when we wanted to enjoy the dish. So I am wondering what else I could have done? Is there perhaps a way to "identify" these hard beans after soaking, or even before?

  • How old were the urad beans? Aug 5, 2019 at 4:21
  • Well, they were well before the "best before date". I had just bought them the day before. Aug 5, 2019 at 6:13
  • Were they definitely the same type of beans as the ones that softened? With an overnight soak in excess water and all day in the slow cooker I've never had any trouble, so I wonder if your beans weren't all equal when you bought them. A longer cook may still help; the others will turn even softer.
    – Chris H
    Aug 5, 2019 at 6:37
  • I'm not a botanist ;) ... but they surely looked the same as those that weren't soaked. The soaked ones bulged and their color had changed slightly towards blueish green (not all equally). Aug 5, 2019 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


You can soak them in hot water for 8-10 hours. And then pressure cook it(add salt and pinch of turmeric) for 4-5 whistles or until tender. If you don't have pressure cooker, you can cook in open vessel. It might take longer.

  • 1
    Thanks. And this will take care also of those tenacious small beans? Also, by "soak in hot water" you mean to pour hot water over them, then let soak for that amount of time or also add heat continuously during that period? Aug 5, 2019 at 6:16
  • Yes, those tenacious small hard beans will get softened and soaking in hot water also reduces the cooking time. And you need to cook after letting them soak in hot water for preparation of dal makhani, as dal makhani calls for soft, tender and little bit of mashy beans.
    – aashii
    Aug 6, 2019 at 4:55

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