Lupini Beans are a go-to snack found across the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They are nutritious (second highest bean in protein) and make the perfect snack to serve your friends and family. Learn how to make Lebanese termos.
This website receives a commission/fee for each purchase bought through the affiliate links on this website.
😋Why You’ll Love This
- They make a great talking point, a lot of people haven’t tried lupin and find the look of this snack interesting
- All-natural snack - beware lupini is moreish! But I would prefer these over any store-bought snack, knowing they are all-natural.
- Naturally gluten-free and with many health benefits. High in protein. They are second to soya beans in protein content, which contain the highest amount of protein per bean.
What are lupini beans?
Lupini beans are also known as Lupin or lupine, are an ancient yellow legume beans dating as far back as the 12th Dynasty BCE.
Both Ancient Egyptians and Romans loved to eat lupin.
The plant is part of the same family as lentils, chickpeas, peanuts and peas.
They contain the second-highest amount of protein in any bean. If you're keen to learn more about protein, read about what is a complete protein by Healing Tomato.
These beans can also be served all year round, and are mainly found in countries like Lebanon (known as termos), Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, and Turkey.
In Spain, these beans are often served with beer, just like how in Australia we serve beer nuts or pretzels.
As lupin beans are gaining popularity and you may be new to them, I thought you’d find it interesting to know what the lupin bean plant looks like (see image below)
🌱LUPINI BEAN VARIETIES
You see there are two kinds:
- The large kind which are bitter
- The small kind which are not bitter
Preparing the large variety takes time. And by time, I mean at least 5 days.
So why would some people choose the larger lupini bean?
Some say the taste is stronger once the bitterness is removed. I personally think it’s marginal.
I favor the smaller variety as they can be prepared in less than 24hours, which suits my busy life just fine.
It always amuses me to see reviews left on online purchases of dried lupine beans.
The most (only!?) common complaint is that they are bitter.
I sometimes feel like saying "that’s because you don’t know how to cook them properly"
Please don’t be discouraged by the bitterness, if you accidentally buy the bitter lupini variety, all the preparation is worth it, due to the taste and health benefits.
If you did end up with the larger variety, the process is the same, except you have to soak them in salty water for five-10 consecutive days (until the bitterness is gone) after boiling them tender.
You'll also need to change the water twice daily.
You may be asking “how will I know I bought the bitter ones?”
Once the beans have been cooked tender, taste one, if it’s bitter, then there’s your answer.
Trust me I know, I remember, many years ago, when I first ventured out on my own to make my first batch of Lebanese termos, I was shocked at the bitterness. I had to call my mum to confirm I didn’t buy a bad batch.
Did you know Australia is a prominent ‘sweet’ lupini supplier? I was pleased to learn this.
It’s important to note that the ‘sweet’ is used to refer to non-bitter lupin. Not because it contains sugar.
Lupin is often used as a key ingredient in plant-based milk or as an additive to wheat-flour products or vegan sausages.
Lupini Beans - the dried variety, if the labels indicate the sweet or small variety, pick those.
The instructions within this recipe are for the small sweet lupini bean variety
1 cup of dried lupin is enough to serve several people (a small handful each)
Salt (I always opt for Himalayan or sea salt)
Water (I prefer to use filtered water)
Step 1 - In a large bowl, add 1 cup lupin beans, 1 tablespoon of salt and 5 cups of water. Mixed water through to dissolve the salt and soak overnight
Step 2 - Discard any water from the soaked beans and add to a pot. Top with 5 cups of water and another 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil on high.
Step 3 - Once boiling, turn heat to med-high and boil for about 2 hours.
Check-in periodically on the beans as they boil and top up water if needed (don’t let the pot dry)
Once lupin is tender, turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
Step 4 - When cool, discard water and top with fresh salted water. Serve with salt or rinse off excess salt.
Dried lupin beans are whitish in color, once soaked they will swell into a plump golden-yellow color
Termos can be prepared in a pressure cooker, once the soaking is complete, simply cook them for 20 minutes.
Bitterness denotes high toxic alkaloids, which are rid of through the brining process.
For those who have a nut allergy, lupini is not recommended. More information on this can be read here
Lupine are encased in the skin, these skins will shrivel during the soaking process. This is normal. Do not take the skin off as it will smooth out during the boiling process.
The beans will double in size when soaking - make sure you double the amount of water to ensure when they do swell, they are still submerged in water.
(I always like to put extra water to be on the safe side)
Cooked lupin can store for about five days in the fridge submerged in salty water.
You will need to change the water daily as it will go murky. Use an airtight container.
Dried lupini beans can store in the pantry for as long as other beans (a couple of years)
They are normally served on their own or can sometimes feature as part of a mezze.
Try adding your favourite herb or spices (to this recipe)
Try them with a splash of fresh lemon juice (to this recipe)
Add lupini beans to a salad such as balela salad or a soup (only after you have cooked them)
Puree lupini into a dip (after you have cooked them)
Roasted lupini beans - similar to this crunchy oven roasted cumin chickpea recipe
Lupini beans or lupin is generally available at your local grocer rather than your large supermarkets. You can also head on over to Amazon and purchase them online buy dry lupini beans here (affiliate link) or already prepared lupin beans here (affiliate link) (prepared lupin is normally in brine or pickled)
Lupini is a great source of protein and is rich in protein (40%), fiber (40%) and moderate in fat (8%) made up largely of unsaturated fatty acids. Lupini is also devoid of starch, which is great for blood sugar and aids off hunger.(wikipedia, Lupin Bean, Wikipedia 11/11/2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupin_bean)
Other benefits of lupini include - a high level of prebiotic fiber, B vitamins, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and antioxidants and calcium.
Overall lupin is a power packed bean.
This is not an easy flavor to explain as the taste is unique along with the texture. The best explanation is they are a pleasantly creamy, buttery, nutty bean flavor.
Lupini is an ancient bean and is traditionally bitter as they are naturally high in toxic alkaloids. This is combated by methodically soaking the beans in salted water (brine) over several days. The newer variety is a ‘sweet’ lupini with little to no bitterness.
Brined lupini beans are eaten individually, with or without the skin which can be discarded using your teeth to open the skin or popping the bean out of the skin by squeezing the bean with your thumb and index finger. Two bowls are always used whilst eating lupin (one with lupin in it and the other empty for the discarded skins)
Lupini beans are known as ‘Termos’ in Arabic, which are enjoyed as a snack or appetizer or part of mezze and are served salted and cold.
They are a highly popular Lebanese food, typically brined, which can be found served on the streets of Lebanon by cart vendors.
Pronunciation: Termos is said as ‘terr-mos’ in English (you need to roll your R) and lupini is said as ‘lu-pee-nee’.
- Activated soaked almonds are another healthy snack
- Home baked beetroot chips
- Warm marinated olives recipe by Marcellina In Cucina
- Marinated Mushrooms by Mrs Jones Kitchen
- Salt and pepper roasted walnuts by It's Not Complicated
- Roasted pumpkin seeds without oil
Did you enjoy making this Lebanese termos recipe? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and give me a rating. This will help me sustain Plant Based Folk.
Alternatively, did you happen to take a photo of your food? Tag me @plantbasedfolk on Instagram to be featured via stories. If you love sharing your vegan food pics, join the PBF community group. If you’re into fast cooking vids, join me on Tiktok.
Lupini Bean (Lebanese Termos)
- 1 cup Lupini Dry variety
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- 5 cups water
- In a large bowl, add 1 cup lupin beans, 1 tablespoon of salt and 5 cups water. Mixed water through to dissolve salt and soak overnight1 cup Lupini, 1 tablespoon Salt, 5 cups water
- Discard any water from soaked lupini beans and add to a pot. Top with 5 cups of water and another 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to the boil on high. Once boiling, turn heat to med-high and boil for about 2 hours.
- Once lupin is tender, turn off heat and allow to cool. Once cool, discard water and top with fresh salted water. Serve with salt.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
If you enjoyed this recipe, consider supporting my work for the cost of a cup of coffee.