Let's talk about food, my second most favourite subject. I had posted earlier about the unique local delicacies that can be found in the various states of Malaysia. Nasi dagang is a delicious Terengganu dish while mee koloh is popular in Sarawak. Last week I had tasty nasi kerabu for breakfast in Kuantan.
In Johor Bahru, there is one place that you can go to for a breakfast of Kacang Pool. This dish is actually not a Johor invention but rather based on a middle-eastern recipe. The original name for this dish is foul medames (or variants of it, depending on the region) and it is a popular breakfast meal in the Arab countries. The word `foul' is pronounced as `fool', and in the process of translation into Malay, it became `pool'. Actually, I've heard the Malay version being called kacang ful or even kacang pol.
Kacang pool is a dish consisting of partially mashed broad beans (aka fava beans) cooked with some spices and sprinkled with freshly-chopped onions and green chillies. A single egg, fried sunny-side up, is placed on top and you can squeeze on some lime juice if you like. The whole mix is eaten with toasted bread. Delicious...
The shop that sells this unique dish is located at a row of foodstalls at an area we call Larkin Bomba. The owner of the stall, Hj. Saiful, introduced kacang pool in JB about 3 years ago, after experimenting with the recipe to suit local tastes. His version actually contains some minced meat whereas the original middle-eastern dish is purely vegetarian. It seems that this version is well-received by JB folks and business is not too bad. One set of Hj. Saiful's kacang pool costs RM4. Check out his website -> hjkacangpool.com, to read his story.
While Hj. Saiful may be the one to introduce kacang pool in Johor Bahru, it is not the first time that I tasted the dish. My mother cooks an even more delicious version. She would fry the egg in ghee and after placing the egg on the bean mix, the melted ghee is generously sprinkled on top. Hmm... the aroma of warm melted ghee... marvelous.
Fava beans, in a pod. Also known as broad beans or horse beans. In Malay, it is called `kacang parang' or `kacang kuda'.
Footnote : The mention of fava beans always reminds me of a scene in the 1991 movie, The Silence Of The Lambs, where Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins) mentions that he once ate the liver of a census-taker with some fava beans and a nice Chianti wine. Chilling...