I am the bean queen. Seriously. I had forgotten what an impression my mom's pantry had on me when growing up. I mean do you know anyone that has this much healthy protein lying stocked in their pantry? I think I missed one big and major first impression, and that is how freaking delicious home-cooked food tastes. Everyday, I've been flittering around my mom while she's cooking, and then I rush to my computer to type like mad when she starts telling me exactly how she did everything. I even forced her to measure things so I could come up with semi-recipes of her tried and true transplanted Gujarati recipes. My mom has been cooking things that her mother used to cook when she was a child. I'm looking forward to typing it up and sharing it on here.
Then I took out all of her beans and lentils from the pantry to bring you this bean and lentil pictorial. Belgian goodies promised to anyone that can name at least 3 types of beans and lentils that are not pictured here.
I love how my mom has used these old Tropicana orange juice glass jars. She collected all of them while she was working as a preschool teacher when I was in preschool. It's kind of scary to think of all that juice that was served to us preschool children.
Below, I have tried to specify whether to cook like lentils or beans. Remember, lentils don't require long-soaking times to rehydrate. Lentils can be cooked quickly, up to 30-35 minutes. Dried beans need to be soaked, then cooked. See this post on the specifics to cooking beans and lentils.
Green mung beans (cook these as you would lentils; they do not require long soaking times to rehydrate)
Cooked as lentils.
I have seen both types of chickpeas sold as "Kabuli." Treat both types as beans.
Can be cooked as lentils; soaking them briefly should speed up cooking time.
Split black gram lentils, or udad dhal, cook as lentils, but can be soaked.
Mung vs moong. These are mung beans that have skinned and split. Cook like lentils.
Treat as beans.
Whole green peas can be treated as beans. When these are split in two, they are split green peas and should be treated like lentils. I always soak them just a bit (30 minutes) to get them softer.
Pintos. My favorite beans.
Similar to channa dhal, but thickens up much more when cooked. Please ignore that I wrote pigeon peas. This was the last guy pictured, and I was just copying down a re-used label.