Just a quick tip I learnt from my ole nan Laxmi – add quarter teaspoon of baking soda to beans or stubborn lentils, like chana dal, and it cooks in half the time! Not old wives’ tale – does work! Word of caution – don’t use too much baking soda as the taste will come through and that’s not very nice. If possible cook the beans or pulses and strain before adding spices and herbs as this gets rid of any after taste of the soda. Remember to always soak beans for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.