Salads and Vegetables

Simplified Kacang Foul – Broad Beans Mash

Foul Medames-the staple breakfast in many Mid-East communities. Here in Singapore, the Arab/Malay community lovingly call it ‘Kacang Pool’. When I was younger, I never could understand why this mushy brown dish eaten with thick slices of batard was called a ‘pool’. It was only later -much later-that I understood that the arabic word for ‘ful’ means beans and that well, just like a Fatimah is called a Patimah and a Sharifah a Sharipah, working along the same lines, the Malays called the ‘ful’ a ‘pool’. But I digress. Back to the Kacang Pool, I mean, ‘ful‘. 

The Singaporean/Malaysian version of this dish is to firstly, in a pot of ghee or clarified butter (traditionally QBB), brown blended onions and then add in the mashed broad beans, seasoned with ground cumin, pepper, tomato paste etc etc. To serve, you fry an egg sunny side up in ghee and then place the egg on a bed of mashed ful. Sprinkle some of the hot ghee on the egg and mash. Garnish with slices of green chillies and finely sliced/chopped onions and maybe a piece of lime – the small kaffir type lime. That is how my mother and mother-in-law and all the women in her age bracket makes kacang pool. 

My easy-peasy version is to…

...pour a can or two of broad beans (Maling or Mili brand) into a bowl and mash them roughly using a potato masher


In a pot, heat up about 2 tbsp of olive oil and add blended garlic and onions. Add mashed beans. Add 1 tbsp tomato paste/puree. Add cumin powder, fennel powder, white pepper.


Top with a fried egg (in olive oil).


Eat with toasted slices of French toast/batard


Sometimes, when I have minced meat, I would sautee some into the pot of olive oil before I pour in the mashed beans. Before, I used to put in fresh chopped tomatoes, but The Hubby didn’t like that. He prefers the traditional taste of kacang pool sans the ghee.

My friend’s mother makes the best kacang pool ever. They used to have a stall in Haig Road and I remember tasting their family’s kacang pool recipe. It was delicious – the consistency just right and the flavour not too strong. I also remembered it was the first time I ate kacang pool with minced meat served at the side, not mixed in together with the beans. Ever since then, I added minced meat to my kacang pool whenever I can.

I doubt many of my non-Malay friends have eaten or even heard of this dish. You can still get kacang pool as a breakfast dish at some Malay stalls, namely those with a larger Malay population in the area. 

How do I categorise this dish?

1 thought on “Simplified Kacang Foul – Broad Beans Mash”

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