Sunday, October 28, 2012


Bought these at Kota Tinggi

Along Pontian.  Stopped to grab some petai pods. 

 Petai is commonly served in a Malay family dish
The humps on the pods are full and firm

Slit the pod and peel it open to get to the seed

All ready to be cooked

The pods grow in bunches


Organic microphones growing from a tree?

No.  They grow into these.

Petai with tempeh

Sambal prawn with petai.  Oolalla....


Petai cooked with minced meat


Bought a bunch of these beans which mercilessly has been refered to as the stink beans. I always fry them lightly with chilly, anchovies and tempeh. They can also be added into my prawn sambal.  At the same time I also love popping them raw into my mouth. Crunchy yet they will leave a pungent smell emitting from your mouth. Another dish to cook petai is to add it to your minced meat with chilly, garlic and salted beans. Do you know the wonders of these well-loved beans of our grannys'/ grandpas' and parents' time?

Scientifically known as Parka Speciosa. Contains protein, potassium, phosphorus, natural sugars, iron, fibre, Vitamin A and minerals. Natural remedy for depression, high blood pressure, morning sickness, PMS, constipation, heart burns, calming the nerves, ulcers, temperature control, stress buster, reduce chances of getting a stroke, remove warts and even get rid of that damn hangovers.

Many other cultures see petai as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Holland, for example, pregnant women eat petai to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. 

The list of good things does not end there.  It's a brain power food and cure for mosquito bites. It helps in weight control when you are struck with panic-induced food craving. Petai can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Petai belalang (Leucaena leucocephala) is known among diabetic patients in Malaysia and Singapore for its blood glucose lowering properties. Some people dry the pods, steep it in hot water and drink it for some kidney problems.  However, as to this remedy being scientifically proven, I am not too sure. There is no point in risking further damage to your kidneys by using folk remedies that have not been scientifically tested for efficacy and toxicity.  
I bought another bunch of petai on my way to Pontian yeserday. The Javanese lady who sold me said that the species is Petai padi, good for cooking and cooling the body. Petai padi is harder to peel but has a thicker hump than Petai papan. Another specie is the Petai belalang (tusk) and as the name suggests, they are longer and have bigger pods.

So, as you can see, petai really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A Petai a day keeps the doctor away'.

One downside though. Just watchout for the smell coming out from your mouth and when you go to the washroom. The smell overpowers the whole bathroom. A little price to pay for a host of good things!! Friends, keep your distance away from me this week.

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