Why legumes? A rich source of essential nutrients. Low in fat, no cholestrol, high in fiber, protein, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium and phytochemicals. A group of compounds that help to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. Dried legums are inespensive and have a long shelf life, making them very convenient storage in the small towns and villages in India. For vegetarians, eating legumes as a substitute for meat can help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and bring down your cholesterol levels. For diet conscious, legumes can make us feel full longer, which may help us eat less and lose weight. Cooking dry beans is the healthiest option and canned beans are a quick substitute as it contains sodium. To lower sodium content, we can drain and rinse canned beans. Legumes take longer time to cook in a big vessel, but in the pressure cooker, it's faster to cook. Some of the indian legumes like pigeon peas(toovar dal), Yellow split peas(chana dal), green lentils(spilt moong dal) and brown lentils(spilt masoor dal) need not be soaked over-night and can be cooked directly in a large vessel or in the pressure cooker with sufficient water. Other legumes like chickpeas, whole yellow peas, red kidney beans(rajmah) and cowpeas needs to be soaked over-night and can also be cooked cooked directly in a large vessel or in the pressure cooker with sufficient water. Legumes not only make delicious indian curries but also some lentils can make lovely soups, stews and hummus for western recipes.