Most of the recipes in Indian Cuisine makes use of legumes, lentils, cereals. There is another fact also – that there are many Indian recipes that soak the legumes, lentsils, nuts, cereals in water and then use them.
Its always necessary to soak legumes in water, as otherwise they take a long time to cook. e.g whenever we prepare rajma, chana or chole we soak them in overnight in water. But its not necessary to soak lentils in water as even without soaking they get cooked in 15-20 minutes.
However, soaking legumes, grains, seeds, lentils has its own health benefits. Although, legumes, cereals, lentils are rich in nutrients and enzymes, they also contain phytic acid.
Phytic acid is a type of a phosphorous compound. This phytic acid inhibits the absorption of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. The phytic acid also contain enzyme inhibitors that work to block the absorption of minerals.
Actually, nature protects the seed due to the presence of phytic acid. Phytic acid exists so that the seed can protect itself until the proper conditions are met for it to sprout and grow. In addition to blocking key minerals from being absorbed into the body, phytic acid can be a great strain on the human digestive system.
Traditionally, peoples have soaked and sprouted seeds, nuts, legumes and grains in order to get the optimal nutritional benefits. Once soaked, the phytic acid is deactivated and released into the water and the enzymes and minerals in the food are more readily available for absorption into our bodies.
Its very simple to soak the legumes, cereals, lentils. Place them in a bowl. Add clean filtered water double or triple the quantity. Cover with a lid. When you want to use them simply drain them and rinse well.