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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Prawn Sambal with Petai and Belimbing

My family loves Petai.  Petai is the local broad bean which scientifically known as Parkia Speciosa.  It's bitter and it stinks but locals love these beans.  The local Malays usually eat them raw but I don't.  Even to me, the smell and the taste is just too strong for me when it's raw.  I prefer mine cooked in sambal.  After eating this, be prepared to have smelly breadth and smelly urine!  You'd think then why on earth do we eat them?

Well, they are simply delicious when you cooked them in sambal and goes very well with white fluffy rice. To top it, they have great health benefits and its not just hearsay.  It's scientifically proven.  Petai carries a wide range of health benefits; from anaemia to heartburn to high blood pressure to constipation to ulcers to stress to strokes and many more.

You can read more benefits of petai from wikipedia.  The Petai is the seeds of long flat pods of bright green.  It's sold quite expensive here which I'm still wondering why. Could it be that the tree is huge and no one dares to climb to get the pods?  I'm glad I found a stall near my home that sells Petai every now and then.  Petai is not all the time available as it's seasonal.  Maybe that's one of the reason why it's not cheap too.

This is the Petai pods

 Peel off the pods, you'll get this bean covered with a thin layer of skin.

To eat them, you have to peel off the skin and it leaves you with the Petai seed.  I usually cut it in half lengthwise just in case there's a little inhabitant in it...the little worm.  I don't want to eat mine with 'extra protein' in it ! .. 

Next, is the Belimbing.  This adds natural sourness to the sambal.  It's scientifically called Aveerhoe Bilimbi.  You can find the goodness of this wonderful fruit in wikipedia too.  I like the tree.  It's very shady and the fruits grow in bunches along the branches of the tree.  Simply beautiful to look at .
So here is the recipe for my sambal.
Blend together into a paste:
handful of shallots
4 candlenuts
2 in shrimp paste
handful of dried chili
300gm prawns, deshelled
1 bowl of belimbing cut into halves
200gm petai, halves
1/2 cup water
salt to taste

1. Heat oil in wok and fry the blended paste till fragrant and oil separates.
2. Add in belimbing and fry till slightly soft.
3. Add in petai, fry for 2 mins.
4. Add water and salt.  
5. Lastly add in prawns and take off heat when prawns are just cooked.

Wonderful aroma, tasteful flavor of spiciness, sourness and saltiness.  MMmmmm.. delicious with nasi lemak or plain rice.


  1. I've come across this dish a few times, but I've always skipped the petai and just eat the prawns. I should probably try eating the petai next time! Your dish looks really yummy!

  2. I'm not a big fan of petai, but I certainly love to have 'em with a dish like this. I wonder if it's possible to cook it with meat instead...

    Only downside of eating a prawn sambal with petai is a smelly toilet. Personal experience. >.<"

  3. Your sambal looks really good! Delicious with the prawns!

  4. looks so tempting and thanks for sharing a great recipe here

  5. Yummy! My favourite dish! Two pinggan nasi!

  6. Wow delicious n mouth watering prawn sambal

  7. Your Prawn Sambal with Petai and Belimbing is lovely. :) Smelly breath? I don't really care for delicious food...just like garlic and onions. :D Thanks for sharing.

  8. No conozco esta vaina es muy linda y seguro deliciosa,hugs.

  9. oh petai ! i love! i hv never tried cooking with the belimbing..i only recently discovered there's a place here that sells belimbing..not everyday tho..i may want to try this one day with belimbing!

  10. hm, very delicious dish! I love the prawn, but never ate sambal. That must be really gut :]

  11. I have never seen this dish before in my life, Jen but I do believe in love at first sight so, I'm in LOVE!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  12. We call those belimbings as "Kamias" over here. This looks like a delicious recipe.

  13. I've never had this type of bean before, but it certainly sounds good. Great recipe!

  14. Hi Jen, I am new your blog :-) I think I have had this beans a couple of times, not very sure though...the dish you cooked looks awesome :-) Cheers, Suchi

  15. HI Jen!

    Just wanted to pop in to remind you that we are playing the Picnic Game again this year. You are, of course, more than welcome to choose a letter and set up a blanket for the 5 annual Picnic Game! Hope to "see" you there! Louise

  16. Jen this plate look delicious!!!


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