Termes، “ترمس”, or Lupini Beans is one of the most common, affordable, healthy, and delicious snacks in Egypt.
If life has treated you with a memorable walk along the river Nile, you must have seen the street vendors selling to passengers heaps of Lupini Beans wrapped in cute paper cones.
Personally, Lupini Beans conjure up many lovely personal memoirs of family indoor fun nights, back in time in Egypt, prior to tablets’ invasion.
Deep bowls of Lupini Beans were usually served sprinkled with salt and dash of red pepper flakes, and seasoned with a drizzle of lemon. Friends and family members used to linger on the beans while watching a riveting TV show, a soccer game, or while enjoying a summer night in a cozy balcony that overlooked the crazy traffic of Cairo.
The preparation of Lupini Beans is pretty straight forward, yet it might take a few days to get them ready as the beans have to soak in water for few days to discharge their bitterness.
Lupini Beans are not created equal. They actually exist in two types:
- The small size beans, which are much quicker to prepare
- The big ones, which take longer to discharge their bitterness.
In addition to their fresh tasPlayful in texture, Lupini Beans are reputed for multiple health benefits.
According to the UK- based nutritionist Wendy Hills @hillstartnutrition, “Lupini Beans are the seeds of the lupinus plant. Similar to other beans, they are toxic in their natural state. However, once soaked and cooked correctly they are highly nutritious and tasty. As for the health facts:
- The Lupini Beans are very high in protein with around 12g per 100g, so a great vegan source of protein.
- They are also high in fiber and are considered to be beneficial to gut health and helping modulate blood sugar levels.”
While ready-to-eat, pickled Lupini Beans are available in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean stores, I recommend making this snack from scratch, to control the amount of salt and avoid any unnecessary preservatives found in the store bought ones.
Pickled Lupini Beans
Recipe Credit to Chez Nermine
- 1 bag Lupini Beans, 14 ounces
- Water (enough to cover the Lupini Beans)
- 1/4 cup salt
- 3 tablespoons of lemon
- 1 teaspoon dry pepper flakes (optional), or Tobasco sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Soak the Lupini Beans in water for 18 hours. After soaking, discard the water and rinse the beans with fresh tap water.
- Boil the Lupini Beans. Add the Lupini Beans in a wide and deep pan, filled with water. Bring it to vigorous boil and let the Lupini Beans cook until they are puffed and their color turns to vivid yellow.
- Soak the Lupini Beans in fresh water and change it daily with fresh water. Always rinse the beans under tap water before adding them to the fresh water. The numbers of days for which you soak the beans depend on the type of beans. Therefore, you should taste the beans each day. Just know that they are ready for consumption when the bitterness is completely gone. (See notes)
- Prepare the brine. Add 4-5 cups of fresh water and 1/4 cup of kosher salt to a middle size, deep pan and set it on middle-low heat on the stove top. Stir the salt to dissolve and bring the the water-salt mixture to a boil. Once all the salt granules dissolve into the water, turn off the heat and let the water cool slightly.
- Pickle the Lupini Beans. Add the Lupini Beans to a clean, sanitized glass jar. Add the brine, olive oil, pepper flakes, and lemon. You can use it within an hour.
- Serve in bowls garnished with lemon quarters and with small plates to discard the skin.
- Store the Lupini Beans in the fridge. It can stay in the fridge for up to a month.
- Big size Lupini Beans take more soaking time/days to discard their bitterness unlike the small size ones.