You'll either love it or hate it. If you live in South East Asia you would have likely come across this particular bean. In Malaysia and Singapore, it is known as Petai. The botanical name for this is Parkia Speciosa. To the layman, it is known as stinky beans and it is really an acquired taste. Reason being is that it has a very strong all-pervasive smell that lingers in the mouth and in the excretory systems of the body.
The beans are popular in Asia, particularly Malaysia, Northern India, Indonesia and Thailand. They are sold in clusters, still in their pod, or the seeds are sold separately in bags. Petai beans or seeds look like broad beans. Like mature broad beans, they have to be peeled before cooking. The beans are known to help in treating depression, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and constipation.Sambal Petai Udang (Spicy Prawns with Stinky Beans)
Serves 4 personsIngredients:
Rice bowl petai shelled from four or five petai pods, and peeled
4 tbsps oil
10 shallots, ground with one stalk lemon grass
2 Tbsps dried chilli paste
3 chili padi, sliced (bird?s eye chili - optional)
1/2 tsp dried shrimp paste (belachan)
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 250ml water
200g fresh prawns, shelled and de-veined
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 to 1 tsp sugar (depending on taste)
Salt to taste (depending on taste)Method:
1) Heat oil in wok and fry the ground shallots and lemon grass till fragrant. Add the sliced onion, chilli paste, chili padi and shrimp paste and saute for a minute.
2) Add tamarind juice and continue to stir till the desired consistency.
3) Add prawns and stir till three-quarters cooked.
4) Then add in the petai and cook for about two minutes. Add sugar and salt to taste.
5) The petai should be just half cooked to taste good.