Around the world in dishes made with pulses

One of the many advantages of cooking with pulses is their long shelf-life: dried beans, dried peas and lentils can be stored for months on end without losing their high nutritional value. They are consequently an important component of food security in developing countries, but pulses are also a popular and affordable pantry item for home cooks all over the world. Indeed, the savory yet subtle taste of cooked pulses complements a wide range of cuisines and flavour profiles, making these grain legumes a staple of many diets.

Pulses recipes from every corner of the globe

Over the past several years, FAO’s Information Network on Post-harvest Operations (INPhO) has maintained a database of over 850 recipes from more than 50 countries. The database serves not only to preserve traditional recipes for posterity, but also to promote the many ingredients and dishes that are less known outside their places of origin. Pulses such as kidney beans, pigeon peas, chickpeas and lentils are regularly featured in these recipes—a testament to their ubiquity, flavour and ease of preparation.

From salads, to soups, side dishes, entrees, and even desserts, pulses can be incorporated into every meal. Get a taste of their versatility from the below selection of pulses-based recipes, spanning several countries and continents.

For even more inspiration, check out the rest of the INPhO cookbook.



Cowpea Garifotofrom Ghana

Githeri from Kenya

Baassi Salte from Senegal

Potatoes, Chickpeas and Groundnuts from Tanzania

Wild Okra with Beans or Cowpeas from Zambia



Arroz com Feijaofrom Brazil

Tamalitos a la Inflacion from Costa Rica

Sopa de habichuelas negrasfrom the Dominican Republic

Strained Beans from Peru

Baked Red Beans and Ricefrom the United States of America


Asia and the Pacific

Bhuna Kichurifrom Bangladesh

Eight-Treasure Rice Pudding from China

Dal from India

Chickpea Curry from India

Kichidi from India

Baguio Beans with Miso from the Philippines

Chili con Carnefrom the Philippines



Baked Beans from Greece

Erwtensoep from the Netherlands


Middle East and North Africa

Chourbat al-bourghol from Algeria

Falafel from Egypt

Homos from Lebanon