Hed Chef: Kacang phool
If you like dishes that are heavy on gravy, kacang phool (broad bean gravy) may just catch your fancy.
It is a Malay version - more colourful too, with shallots, green and red chilli - of ful medames, a Middle Eastern dish.
This rendition of stewed beans is beefed up with minced meat.
I got a tip from the Malay beef stall owner at my neighbourhood wet market: For better flavour, cook the beef separately before adding it to the broad bean mixture.
Lime lends a citrusy note to the thick meaty stew, while an egg, done sunny side-up, adds further dimension, especially with the liquid yolk.
I mashed half of the beans for a more textured gravy, but go ahead and mash all the beans if you prefer a smoother, texture.
I recommend using canned broad beans. Life is too short to soak and boil dried beans.
- l ½ tsp fennel
- ½ tsp cumin
- 3 red onions
- 10g ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 750g canned broad beans (discard the brine)
- 300g minced beef
- A dash of ground white pepper
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 700ml water
- A pinch of sugar
- 1½ tsp salt
- 6 to 8 eggs, fried sunny side-up
- 4 limes, halved
- 6 shallots (90g), finely sliced
- 2 green finger chillies, finely sliced
- 2 red finger chillies, finely sliced
- 10g flat leaf parsley, finely sliced
- 1 French loaf, in 3cm-thick slices
1. Dry fry the fennel and cumin in a pan over low heat until fragrant. Remove and allow to cool. Grind the spices. Set aside.
2. Grind the red onion, ginger and garlic into a paste. Set aside.
3. Mash half of the broad beans or all of it, depending on your preference. Set aside.
4. Using a non-stick pan, without using oil, fry the minced beef until is cooked thoroughly. This should take about five minutes.
5. Add a dash of ground white pepper. Set aside.
6. Heat the three tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok or deep frying pan.
7. Over medium-low heat, fry the onion, ginger and garlic mixture for eight minutes.
8. Add the ground fennel and cumin and fry for another two to three minutes.
9. Add the mashed broad beans and fry for two minutes.
10. Add 700ml of water. Stir and allow the mixture to come to a simmering boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent the mixture from burning.
11. Add the sugar and season with salt. If the mixture is too thick, add more water to get the consistency you prefer. Adjust the amount of seasoning accordingly.
12. Add the minced beef. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to cook for another five minutes.
13. To serve, ladle the broad bean gravy into a deep dish or bowl. Place a fried sunny side-up egg and half a lime on top.
14. Garnish with some sliced shallot, green finger chillies, red finger chillies and flat leaf parsley.
15. Serve with French loaf slices.