Ready-to-cook pulses: here comes an era of affordable processed pulse products
Enjoy the nutrition and convenience of processed pulse products
Cooking dry grain pulses in about 15 minutes? I don’t think that is possible, maybe with a pressure cooker? But the pressure cooker easily mashes the beans or is not available in many households! That is a question that most of us may find incredible to be asked, but still interesting.
Why haven't there been any pulse-based items in the meal? You ask any middle-level hotel in Uganda or other parts of Africa and the response would be: “Preparing the pulses takes a long time, and we cannot offer the readily available canned beans, they are very expensive.” Response from a household will not be too different! “We can cook once a week and have them last for at least two days. We can’t cook every day; it requires a lot of fuel and time.”
While taking lunch, it crossed my mind that we have not had any bean-based meal during any of the four days at the hotel where we were having a workshop on pulse processing, and at that moment, everything started falling into place. A study in Uganda shows that the amount of fuel used to prepare meals can be very high. On average, it is estimated that a family requires about one kilogram of charcoal per person per day to cook a meal in Uganda. For a family of 5 or more, that is so much charcoal per year. If its firewood, then you need them in large quantities, and this firewood, which is scarce, mostly requires women and children to search for them in the bushes. Many hours lost, and smoky cooking for hours. For urban areas, this costs them more.
FAO data (2015) estimates that about 220 million people in Africa are calorie deficient. According to a study by Lancet (2013), of the 34 countries that account for 90% of the global burden of malnutrition, 22 (64%) are in Africa.