Everything you need to know about Lupini beans, and a lupini bean Middle Eastern recipe – just how it’s made in the streets of Amman!
WHAT ARE LUPINI BEANS?
Lupini beans or lupin beans (Turmus in Arabic) are very healthy vegan beans that can be served as snack or antipasti. Lupini beans are delicious and are also good for you!
These beans are legume seeds. They are popular in the Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy, and they’re also very well known in the Middle East in countries like Jordan and Egypt. They’re usually served as snacks on their own or as antipasti, and a popular street food in the Middle East.
In Italy, lupini beans are mixed with olives to be served as snacks at Christmas time. They are also added to hot and cold salads.
In Jordan, Turmus is usually sold dried in the supermarkets. To prepare it, it needs to be soaked in water and then cooked until it’s semi-soft. it’s quite starchy and smells a little bit like potatoes.
BENEFITS OF LUPINI BEANS
These beans are high in protein (40%), and fiber (40%). So every 100 grams of cooked lupini beans, contain around 40 grams of protein.
These beans aid in resorting and building cells, tissue and muscle in the human body.
As Lupin beans are high in fiber, they are able to lower the cholesterol in the body and clean the blood vessels. So they’re also good for the heart.
And finally, these beans are packed with antioxidants and help prevent inflammation.
HOW TO COOK DRIED LUPINI BEANS
There are 2 kinds of dried turmus beans, there’s a bitter variety that takes longer to prepare as it needs to be soaked for several days in water, and water needs to be changed every few hours. Then the beans need to be cooked, and if still bitter then soaked again in water.
The other kind of lupin beans is sweet, these beans are not literally sweet but they’re not bitter either. They can be prepared quickly, by just soaking them in water for a few hours, then they’re cooked for 30 minutes or until they’re sort of soft and yellow in colour.
MIDDLE EASTERN LUPINI BEANS TURMUS
In the Middle East, you will see many street vendors selling these lovely beans that are perfectly cooked, then seasoned with cumin, salt and lots of lemon juice. Many people also cook beans at home in the Middle East. They are also usually paired with beer as they make a great snack.
The beans are first soaked in water, and then cooked in boiling water until they’re soft enough to eat. Ground cumin is a very important ingredient, as lupini beans can cause bloating to some people. After the Turmus is cooked, add lemon juice. Then sprinkle with ground cumin and salt.
The beans are eaten cold and are stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
HOW TO EAT LUPIN BEANS
Lupini beans are eaten one by one, by tearing the skin with your teeth and then popping the seed into your mouth.
Lupini beans are also used in making lupini flour, and even tofu!
You can buy lupin beans pickled, or canned in brine. They are also sold as dried beans.
HOW TO STORE DRIED LUPINI BEANS
Dried beans can be stored for up to 24 months in an airtight container, stored in a dry place at room temperature.
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Middle Eastern Lupini Beans
Lupini beans the Middle Eastern way. They are cooked from dried, then seasoned with cumin, salt, and lemon juice.
- 500 grams lupini beans dried
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 20 grams parsley chopped
- 1 tsp salt
Soak lupini beans in water for a few hours.
Add to boiling salted water, and cook until they're soft enough to eat. This should take around 30 minutes but it depends on the variety of the lupini beans you're using.
Rinse the beans, then add lemon juice, ground cumin, and salt. Give it a good mix so cumin and salt and well distributed.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve!
Lupini beans used in this recipe are "sweet" lupini beans that don't require to be soaked in water for days.