This has been the question all my life, every time that I needed to soak and cook pulses. And even more when you do not have a pressure cooker to make this a little bit faster. I still waiting for my pressure cooker, it did not come for my last Mother's Day and It did not come for the last Christmas and definitely I do not wanted for San Valentine's Days... But I found a very useful chart in my last acquisition, a fantastic book that have a lot of cooking techniques, The Cook's Book Recipes and Step-by-Step Techniques from Top Chefs (http://www.dk.com/), I have been using some of my mother cooking advices for the preparation of the pulses but when I got this chart, there was not more guessing.
Being honest the soaking and cooking f the pulse is not a exact science because much depend on the age and origin of the crop. So the chart will give you an idea of the times needed but is not cast in stone, it is a best approximation. I hope this chart help you to reduce the wondering about how to cook pulses and make you move away from the beans in the can.
TYPE OF PULSES SOAKING TIME APROX.COOKING TIME BEST FOR
Black Beans (Mexican) Overnight 1 hour Salad, soups, stews, refried beans
Black-eyed beans Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours Casseroles, pates, salads, soups
Borlotti Beans Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours Italian dishes, soups, stews
Broad beans (skinless) Overnight 1-1/2 hours Falafel, salad, soups, stews
Butter Beans Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours Pate, salads, soup
Canellini Beans Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours Italian dishes, soup, salads
Flageolet Beans Overnight 1-1/2 hours Casseroles, soup, salads
Ful Medames Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours Ful medames, bigilia
Haricot Beans Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours Boston Baked beans, casseroles, cassoulet
Lentils (split) Not required 25 minutes casseroles, dals, pate, soup
Lentils (whole) Not required 45 minutes casseroles, dals, pate, soup
Mung beans (whole) Not required 3/4 - 1 hour Salads, sprouting, stews
Peas (whole) Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours casseroles, mushy peas, purees
Peas (split) Not required 45 minutes casseroles, dals, peas pudding
Pinto Beans Overnight 1 to 1- 1/2 hours Mexican dishes, refried beans, tacos
Red Kidney Beans and Soya Beans: boil hard for 10 minutes then soak for 4 hours and cook, he red kidney for 1 - 1 1/2 hours and the soya beans cooks for 2 to 4 hours.
I hope this chart be very useful for you as it has been for me...