I have heard that cooking bengal gram with salt can lead to increased cooking time compared to cooking it without salt.So i used to add salt just before serving the curry.Other pulses like green gram are cooked with salt without any noticeable similar problems of delayed softening. Is this problem about bengal gram or chickpea is true?If so why is it so?

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  • 1
    I'm curious what your source for the longer cooking time is?
    – Caleb
    Dec 22, 2016 at 8:56
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    Not authentic source...its an advice we used to get from elders...i also felt its true when once i tried with salt...it was not at all becoming soft even after prolonged cooking
    – aelin_s
    Dec 22, 2016 at 9:03
  • I had the feeling that we have had quite a few questions about this on the site, maybe not about this specific bean, but the principle is the same. But I only found questions about adding salt to the soaking water, not the cooking water. cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/20754/….
    – rumtscho
    Dec 22, 2016 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


No, this is a common myth. If you want to test it, you don't "try once with salt", you divide the same batch of beans and cook them both, one with salt and one without, under the same conditions, and repeat. This is what a food author did, although he seems to not have repeated the experiment: http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/09/salt-beans-cooking-soaking-water-good-or-bad.html. His salted beans were somewhat better than the unsalted, and he states he now always cooks them in salted water.

  • I have tested in two batches.I felt its not becoming soft when salt is added.I am noting this only with black bengal gram.All other pulses even the white bengal gram goes well with salt.Black bengal gram is exceptionally harder than other pulses and beans.Question is specifically about it.That is why i have provided the photo to avoid possible generalisation.
    – aelin_s
    Dec 22, 2016 at 14:26

I don't think this is true. If anything, salt would help the bengal gram (chickpea or garbanzo bean) soften sooner because it would absorb moisture more easily and therefore soften sooner.

If you soak the bengal gram overnight (you should for taste/texture/ease of cooking) then salting during the soak would definitely not cause an increase cooking time, as once again they will contain more water and therefore cook faster.

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