Shadia Al Hili

A Salford entrepreneur has filled the shelves of the organic food store Unicorn with a new dip she has created. 

Shadia Al Hili, 47, decided to have a change in career from beauty therapist to business owner, when realising that there was a huge gap in the food market. 

She set out to make her own version of ful madamous, a staple of Arabic vegetarian cuisine, after discovering that it was not on the British menu. 

Ful madamous is a dish of cooked fava beans served with vegetable oil, cumin, chilli peppers and is a favourite in countries such as Morocco and Yemen. 

Ms Hili said: “I was a beauty therapist by trade, I had my first business at 25, but I love eating good, healthy food, I like giving my children nutritious food. I went into stores around Salford and I saw hummus everywhere but not madamous.

“After some market research and perspiration, Cuzena was born. It means kitchen in Moroccan and my daughter’s name is Zena so it has a personal meaning to me. I have always tried to make everything I do authentic and I feel like this is something that is different. 

“Although most people would associate the madamous with hummus, it’s actually much more than that. Hummus is rarely ever filling but the madamous is a whole meal in one. It is incredibly high in protein, it gives you everything you need when your body is weak.” 


The mother of two, who lives in Worsley, was keen on bringing the food from her heritage and culture to the British table in a “contemporary, modern style”. 

She went on: “As Brits, we are so used to seeing food that is aesthetically pleasing in colour, I wanted to change the perception of Arab food which is usually heavy and spicy. I brought my culture and heritage but in the 21st century Arab-Brit style.”


Don’t know how to serve the madamous? Here are some ideas!

Eat it with your favourite flatbread that has enough carbs to last you the whole day or maybe lather it on some bruschetta. It can also be eaten with a boiled egg or used as a filling for a jacket potato!

Cuzena ‘dip’

The ful madamous has been listed as ‘number one brand to watch’ in Speciality magazine as well as being labelled as one of the 30 start ups to watch in 2018.

Ms Hili’s plan’s for next year for the company involve talks with large manufacturers as well as major retailers.

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