Lentils, peas and many beans do not need soaking. For those beans that do, there are some basic rules to observe. First, rinse them in a sieve under the cold tap to wash off any loose, floury matter before cooking. This minimizes the formation of scum during cooking.
Soak dried beans by pouring boiling water over them to quicken the process. In hot climate kitchens, a 1-hour soak is safer than leaving them to sit for a long time. Alternatively, soak larger beans in cold water for up to 8 hours, in the refrigerator if it is very hot weather. Although the beans absorb water, there is no evidence that they lose any nutrients.
** Asian Recipes