Text and images by Lorraine Koh @ Makansutra
Now I personally think that I am fairly well-versed in Malay food cuisine, that it until my boss mentioned Kacang Phool then I realised I have never tried it before, nor did I know what it actually is. With such an intriguing name I decided to find more about it.
Syed Ali, owner of Fhoul Madinah Istimewa Original Kacang Phool says, “It is an Arabian food originally. But of course the egg and green chilli were not included in the original Arabian dish. Those were added to suit the local palette.” Kacang Phool (or Kachang Pul or Poole) is the South East Asian variant of the Egyptian national dish Ful Medames. Ful Medames is an Egyptian dish of cooked and mashed fava beans served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice.
As for our own locally made Kacang Phool, it is made up of medamme beans, cooked with beef and spices and garnished with green chilli, onions, and topped with a bull’s eye egg. It is usually eaten with a few slices of baguette.
It looks simple, and pretty much like a pool of dark brown stew, save for the egg on top. At first taste, it reminds one of a nuttier and thicker version of minestrone soup. The onions and green chilli adds a great crunch to the thick stew. Usually taken for breakfast, it is a hearty stew and comfort food at its best. Eaten alone, it can be a little too rich and thick to stomach, but together with the baguette, it feels more like a meal. Lime is to foil the heaviness of the dish. Squeeze the lime over the Kacang Phool and dip the bread into the dark brown stew for one of the simple pleasures of life.
Fhoul Madinah Istimewa Original Kacang Phool
1 Geylang Serai #02-114 Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre Singapore 402001 Opens 7.30am to 3pm. Off days on ad-hoc basis.
(note: The Kacang Phool is usually only sold in the mornings)