Addas: A Taste of Sudan
As food is more important than ambiance to me, the term dive often has a positive connotation.
In a blog entry four months ago, I mentioned and showed a photo of a Sudanese lentil dish. This was after eating it only once and hardly knowing anything about it. Since then, I’ve consumed this gastronomical wonder at least 15 times, maybe 20.
Addas in Arabic translates to lentils. This Sudanese dish could be the best value I’ve come across in my lifetime. It’s nutritious, delicious and super cheap.
After telling a random Sudanese man about my discovery, he said:
“But that’s Sudanese poor man’s food.”
Even though he speaks some English, it was impossible to convey to him that I’m far from filthy rich, and even if I were, I’d still consume this dish because it’s tasty and healthy.
There’s no silverware involved. The Addas is scooped up with Tamees or Pakistani Bread. Next door is a small Pakistani bakery that bakes the bread solely to accompany the Addas. It’s always served fresh and warm from the oven. Added to the lentils is boiled egg, cumin, cheese, olive oil, raw onion, red peppers, and a green chili sauce that packs a perfectly spicy punch. The dish, including all the tamees you want, costs just 5 Rial or $1.33.
Health Benefits of Lentils
● Decreases risk of cancer
● Excellent digestive
● Fiber rich
● Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
● High in antioxidants
● Loaded with iron
● Low calorie food that fills you up; thus helps control weight.
● Lowers cholesterol
● Moderates blood sugar
Sources of health benefits’ list:
Left to Right: Me, the cook Mustafa Omar of Sudan and two patrons in the doorway. The restaurant is called Sudanese Fowal. It’s on Masane Street in Al-Hamra district, across the street from the Hyatt House Hotel. The photo was taken tonight outside of the entrance. Mustafa gave me a passport photo and asked that I put him into the American visa lottery when I go back to the states. In his mind, the American dream is alive and well.
As there’s a huge Sudanese population in Riyadh, the city seems to have endless Addas restaurants. I’ve tried a handful of them. This particular one is the best I’ve experienced so far.