13 January, 2010

Salted Lupini Beans

Lupini Beans made it into the 2010 SAVEUR Top 100!!! That's great, but what's more important to me is that I finally learned about the English name of these beans. LUPINI BEANS!!!!! I got to know lupini beans as a popular salty snack in the Mediterranean region and Portugal. They were introduced to me as "Lupins" and oh so many Google searches did not get me anywhere. In Portugal they are called Tremoços. There they are served in pubs with beer, like you would get a little bowl of peanuts in other places. Lupini beans make a perfect, healthy appetizer to a nice, big meal or even just a snack between meals. They have the second highest protein content of all beans, after soy beans.

I saw ready-made Lupini beans in the shop. But when I found dried ones in our local supermarket, my do-it-yourself determination was switched on. It was a coincidence that I found the dried ones in our local supermarket, as they were called Tarmose on the package. Googling that also did not get me far. It might well be that this is the term of some Indian language for the Lupini, although I haven't found an Indian or subcontinental dish using them.

Lupini beans are a legume that requires lots of soaking as they are extremely bitter.  Once they have been soaked long enough, they are kept in brine. Lupini beans are surrounded by quite a tough skin with a little opening. Eating them, therefore, takes a little practice: You bite a bigger whole with your front teeth where the little hole is already and then pop the bean into your mouth.

(Print Recipe)

250g (1 1/2 cups) dry Lupini Beans
lots of water
3 tablespoons salt (or to taste)
Soak the dried beans for 8 hours or overnight in water. Cook them in lots of water until tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain and transfer to a bowl or pot. Cover with water again. Drain, rinse and cover with fresh water as often as you can, up to every 4-6 hours. Depending on how often you changed the water, the bitter taste should be gone after 2 to 4 days. Sometimes it takes longer, just be warned.

Two tips to make the bitterness go away faster:
1. Cook the lupins longer (about 2 hours rather than 1 1/2)
2. Use hot (almost boiling) water to soak them (after the cooking).

Once you find the lupini beans edible without any bitter aftertaste, keep them in airtight container covered in water and add about 3 tablespoons of salt (or more or less according to taste). Store covered in that brine in the fridge. There they keep for about two weeks.


  1. I LOVE Lupini beans. I'm especially glad to see they are getting their moment in the spotlight. One of my favorite ways to eat them is in an Italian style, simply dressed with good olive oil, red wine vinegar and some pickled cherry peppers. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. I don't know if it's also Indian, but at home, in Arabic we call it Tarmose (sounds like "tar moose"). They definitely take a lot of patience...but it pays off as a great snack! Just found you from TasteSpotting

  3. Thanks, Kahlil, for this information. Do you know any Arabic dishes in which Tarmose is being used? I'd be curious to know!!

  4. yes Termos is an arabic word. we eat them in Palestine as an appetiser, you add lemon wedges and sprinkle green parsley on the top. you also can add a little bit of cumen.

  5. I am an adventurer when it comes to food, I also made the same mistake my fellow men made; thinking they were just like any other beams....Oh boy, I was in for a big surprise. after researching I decided to take on the challenge, and follow the directions, I am in my 4th day today (sounds like I'm pregnant:)), and the challenge will go on!

  6. Here in Italy, lupini are such a common snack that they are sold in little packets at the supermarket. Some bars will also serve them with drinks. We can also buy lupini on the street, much as people in the US might buy peanuts or popcorn. They are sold, along with olives,in brown paper cones, especially in open air markets and at street fairs, They are sometimes still sold in the cinema, along with small packages of salted squash seeds, another very old fashioned tradition.

  7. I live in Jordan, and finally tonight I'm learning the English word for these!

    Anyway, here they're just served like a pub snack (without the pub), salty and sometimes with a few lemon pieces on top. Or you can buy them the same way from a street car.

  8. Dandelion dreamer7 March 2012 19:12

    They call them lupins here in Australia too, I never knew they had another name, they tend to grow as weeds where I live and have pretty blue or yellow flowers. In spring I drive past blue or yellow meadows filled with them, quite beautiful. It's mainly the Italian families that eat them but they're getting more popular, the other day I saw lupin flour for sale, might try it one day.

  9. Here in PT we also use this bean to control sugar in the blood (diabetis). You soak one dried unsalted bean in 1/3 glass of water overnight and in the morning you just drink the lot (bean included). It works and apparently it also controls high blood pressure and maybe cholesterol. It seems to re-balance your system. Do investigate this. It is totally safe!

  10. I am portugese and we ate these as kids at the festivals every year.. we called them "tramoush".. not sure of spelling. I can't find a reference to that any where.. we just went to a local festival here and they called them that too.. yet no one can spell it.. I'm happy to find them again.. haven't seen them in years.

    1. Tremoço(s) the proper spelling in Portuguese. :) Which was borrowed from the Arabic language as are many of our words.

  11. Tremocos, you can also keep some in a little bowl with water, portuguese hot sauce and garlic pieces :) Love them.

  12. In Ecuador the variety eaten has a softer skin and is smaller in size, but is otherwise quite similar. They're called chochos and are eaten as a snack covered in lemon juice with tomato and onion. Sometimes they're sold with crunchy friend corn pellets to balance out their softness.

  13. I remember eating these, when we lived in the Italian neighborhood, I was young them,. An Italian older man would pass blowing a horn, selling them. Then, we out of the neighborhood.
    Now, all grown up mother & grandmother, & I went to this grocery store, called Tony's, & I saw the famous "Lupini" beans again :) I buy them, every chance I get, ny 5 year old, granddaughter, lived them too ;)

  14. Family favorite....we like to add some oregano with the salt and sometimes a dab of olive oil.

  15. It is poisonous! Symptoms of lupin bean poisoning include dilated unresponsive pupils, confusion, slowed thought and disorientation, flushed face and/or fever, high heart rate and blood pressure, tremors, difficulty with or slurred speech, in-coordination, dizziness, burning dry mouth, stomach pain, and anxiety or "malaise".


    Bon appétit


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