Tarwi is an edible bean found in Peru at high altitudes and is grown in cool environments. The plant is quite striking in appearance with purple flowers. However, Tarwi has a bitter flavor due to the presence of alkaloids.
The tarwi beans are sold in their original form as well as in the form of flour. Tarwi has a firm and smooth texture like that of cooked soybean and has a slightly nutty flavor. The beans are also well known for its high nutritional value, as it has a good value of protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins including fibers.
How To Store Tarwi
Tarwi cannot be consumed with the alkaloid present in it; it gives an unpleasant flavor and has side effects such as weakness, nausea, and vision issues. Therefore, the alkaloid content needs to be removed first before the beans are ready to be consumed.
Due to this reason, tarwi comes in different forms when you purchase it from the market. Therefore, each form of tarwi needs to be treated differently before you store them.
Soak and rinse untreated tarwi
When you buy tarwi from stores, the alkaloids are most likely removed already. But, if you stumble upon tarwi seeds that are not treated and are directly sold, you will have to do some work on it.
Add the beans to a large pot of boiling water containing salt. Let boil for a few minutes and lower the flame, leaving it on for 3 hours. Drain the beans, rinse them thoroughly, and keep them in a bowl of cold water, leaving them soaked overnight.
Note: If the bitterness remains too much the next day, repeat the process.
Keep in the refrigerator
Tarwi is also packed in brine solution; this type of tarwi is already processed. You can store it as it is inside the refrigerator if it comes in a jar or can. If not, transfer it to a glass container and keep it inside the fridge.
Processed tarwi at home should also be kept in brine (salt-water) solution in the refrigerator until ready to be consumed.
Keep the dried tarwi at room temperature
Dried or dehydrated tarwi, usually in flour, can be kept in an airtight container in a shelf drawer or kitchen cabinet at room temperature. Make sure to keep it dry and protected from moisture.
Can You Freeze Tarwi
You can freeze tarwi that is already processed and preserved in a brine solution. Rinse the beans with cool water by placing them inside the colander on the kitchen sink. Transfer tarwi to a large cooking pot and add enough water to soak the beans; give it a quick stir to make the beans settle and not clamp.
Leave it soaked overnight, drain the water with the help of a colander, transfer them to a freezer bag, and make sure not to add too many beans in a single bag. Label the date you are freezing, and keep them in the freezer, so the beans spread inside the bag.
How Long Does Tarwi Last
Tarwi purchased from the market contains a best by date, which tells its shelf life. The beans usually do not last very long as compared to other dried beans. Packed beans can stay as long as the best by date tells you, but once the pack is opened, its shelf life is reduced. Processed tarwi should be used within 30 days after it is bought.
Cooked tarwi can last in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. An opened package of tarwi will keep in the refrigerator for only two days. Dried tarwi has a shelf life longer than soaked ones. Dehydrated or dried tarwi can be kept at room temperature for 3 to 4 months, also past that if it is still good and used with care. In the freezer, tarwi can stay for six months at most.
How To Tell If Tarwi Is Bad
It is necessary to practice accurate hygiene to avoid food-borne illness; you must be able to tell if your food is still edible or ready to be thrown out in the trash. You need to rely solely on your senses to tell if tarwi is bad, rotten, or spoiled. The appearance of the beans does not tell much about their health.
- Odor: If you recognize the odor of your tarwi soaked in a brine solution when you bought it, it makes it easier for you to identify any changes. If it gives off a no longer familiar smell, and you turn your head away after smelling it, then it is time to get rid of it.
- Taste: Cooked tarwi can be kept in the refrigerator, but it means the beans have spoiled or fermented if the taste turns sour.