Kacang Pool

Coming back from Singapore has reminded me somewhat of how our elders used to live and how Malaya as it was all known to be at the time was like to live in. To me, contrary to what popular mass media tells us the Malaya of the early 20th century was a less polarised place to live in. My grandma and her siblings can all speak fluent Teochew/Hokkien because the area they lived in had a very large Chinese community. Most Singaporean chines speak Teochew/Hokkien. Though my great grandfather was ethnically Chinese, he was raised by a Malay family and I've never really asked if he still spoke any Chinese. Apparently this was quite common in those days. That is how integrated the society was at the time. I still enjoy the look on the nyonya's face when my grandma or her sister starts talking to them in Chinese! Anyways, back to the main story. My grandma had a very close friend she treated like her own sister and she was this Arab lady the name of which i forgot. She died quite some time ago and I did not get to meet her. She taught my grandma do do make up as she was a beautician and mak andam something my grandma used to do a long time ago too. Other than that, she taught my grandma some recipies. Just as how I learnt a few recipies from my grandma. I was curious of how this kacang pool dish was made so I asked.

This is how the tin looks like. grandma bought 10 tins! if it weren't for the boot full of bike stuff I bet she'd buy more! At first I thought "Asal nenek beli baked beans ni?" But noooo... it's not baked beans, don't be fooled... hehhee

Ok. Now a background on this Kacang pool thingy. Well, I first heard of it during this trip actually. The first day we arrived in Singapore, my grandma's first plan was to go to Geylang market. For those not acquainted with Singapore, Geylang market is like the place to be for all things Malay. Kira Malay central lah, like how Bradford is like "Asian central" if you know what I mean. Naturally, where there are Malays there will be Arabs. And that's where u can find kacang pool or as it says on the tin "Fool modammes". My gandma says it is called red beans in english. A quick google search confirms this. I was told that "fool" actually means beans in english and the Malays always pronounce the 'f' in loan words as 'p' hence the fool becomes a pool. That actually rhymes! A good example is how "garfu" becomes "garpu" the malay for fork. Just how attar in arabic means perfume, and we malays call it minyak attar i.e. perfume oil, calling red beans kacang pool is actually calling it bean bean. Aaanyways, so yeah... kacang pool is actually "red beans".

The dish grandma made looks like this:

It's like a porridge. This is with the egg thrown in 

The condiments: Chillies, onions and limau nipis.




It is made by first blending the beans. Then it is cooked with water together with tomato puree, a little minced meat and some spices. What spices you put in may vary. My grandma sometimes puts in korma powder and sometimes she uses curry powder. It's just a little amount so as to not overwhelm the taste of the dish. When cooked it is served with fried eggs, sprinkled with some diced shallots(bawang merah) and squeezed with 1 limau nipis or lime. It is eaten with french bread or baguette and it is absolutely delicious! Those who can find red beans in Malaysia, i recommend you to try and make it. it's very simple to make and the result is excellent! happy trying!