The cause of gas or flatulence is the anti-nutrient chemicals found in lentils. The good news is that lentils' anti-nutrients can be quickly neutralised by soaking them in water.
Lentils are a nutritious superfood with an excellent nutrient profile. When combined with another plant-based protein, lentil creates a complete protein source that can be used as a wholesome substitute for meat and other animal products. They are also low in calories and fat. In addition to these nutrients, it is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and B complex vitamins, making it a necessary staple diet for people all over the world. The advantages of this protein powerhouse can be increased by soaking the pulses before cooking. It enhances nutrient absorption, aids in the removal of the anti-nutrient phytic acid, and aids in the binding of calcium, iron, and zinc. In addition to lowering the cooking time and enhancing flavour, soaking lentils for the recommended amount of time can also enhance their digestibility, which is beneficial for people with impaired digestion. But not all lentils or beans are soaked for the same amount of time. 4-5 hours is more than enough for some types, while others require 8–10 hours before they can fully benefit.
Split lentils: Because they are simple to prepare, the soaking period might be as little as 30 –60 minutes. Examples include Yellow Moong Dal, Chana Dal, Urad Dal, and Tuvar Dal. These are essentially split pulses, which are legume varieties that have been divided in half.
Whole Legumes: In simple terms, legumes are entire, full-structured plant pods. Smaller legumes in this category include cowpea, green moong dal, kultih, and moth. These too can be sprouted. They should soak for six to eight hours.
Beans and chickpeas: These are the larger varieties of legumes, such as soybean, kidney, Bengal gram, and black beans. This species can be soaked for 8–10 hours due to its size and sturdy nature.
How to soak right
The dal should be placed in a bowl, cleaned gently with your fingers, and then rinsed with water, changing the water 3–4 times. Now, depending on the variety of lentil, add water to a bowl and soak the dal for between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Split dals can be steeped for 30 or 60 minutes, however, whole pulses need to soak for two hours.
Before cooking, legumes like Rajma, chana, or chole should be soaked for 8–12 hours or overnight. Since the soaked water contains tannins or phytic acid, it should be discarded.
When soaking beans and lentils, keep in mind to drain and replace the water. Gas and bloating are reduced by ref-filling twice during the soaking period with fresh water.
Before cooking, drain the lentils and give them a good rinse in cold water.