There’s nothing better to start off the day than this combination of two dishes and the Afghani bread called tamees. For my family every Friday was fuul and adas morning, and I’d dutifully drive 15 minutes to our preferred fuul and adas shop.
So what are fuul and adas? Fuul is well-known around the region as a staple dish of Egypt and Sudan. At its most basic fuul is cooked and mashed fava beans which are left to stew, to which olive oil, onions, garlic, lemon juice and chilies are added. Some shops will flavour the dish according to their own personal tastes, and it’s not uncommon to find items like egg being sprinkled on top as well.
And then, there’s adas. Literally speaking, adas is lentils. The method used to cook and prepare fuul is used for adas, and likewise the dish is also garnished with chilies, shatta (spicy chili sauce) and other delights.
Both are spooned into white plastic containers and served with an additional helping of whole, small and fiery green chilies, lemons or limes and onion pieces (ed: don’t think of going to a fuul and adas shop on a date).
What I enjoy the most (apart from the eating) is watching the bread being made. There is always a tanoor bread shop alongside a fuul and adas restaurant, and these places dispense dozens of flat, round tamees breads every couple of minutes. The dough is prepared beforehand, stretched out, sprinkled with water and then stuck to the oven wall. The dough only takes about 45 seconds to cook and it’s wonderfully fluffy on the edges and yet crisp in the center.
Be warned however. Once you eat fuul and adas there is no going back. You’ll need at least half a day to digest the stuff, and you’ll need to wash everything down with some laban or a fizzy drink. And the cost? Between five to ten Saudi Riyals for one container of fuul and adas and a couple of tamees breads. The breakfast of champions which is eaten by all in Saudi.