Friday, January 29, 2010

akin to durian

i have walked the prunus-petai trail at macritchie reservoir park so many times that i have lost count but today was the first time i saw the beans dangling from the petai tree. i have seen fresh petai sold at the market many years ago. it was in the days when the old kandang market extended onto the road. there was this malay man who would sell the petai from his 'bicycle stall'. he would usually be stationed in the middle of the road, nearer to campbell lane.

whenever i walk at bukit batok nature park and when i am near the disused quarry pond, i will be gazing at three of the trees, hoping to see the strings of beans. i have not seen any up to this day.

today, you can get the shiny petai seeds, sold in packet at sheng siong supermarket. each pack of about 50 seeds cost $2.80.

petai bears long, almost flat edible beans with green seeds the size and shape of almonds. the beans have a peculiar smell, which some people find offensive.

i have been told by my friend that eating petai is an acquired taste, just like eating durian - you either like it or hate it. sometimes it is very difficult not to use the race label when discussing food. i ask a number of singaporean chinese and none of them like the 'stinky bean' but from my malay friends, it is a different response. all of them seem to love eating sambal petai udang or sambal petai ikan bilis.

here's a link to a petai recipe.


Uncle Phil said...

One of my favourites at the nasi padang stall when I last balek kampung. We get them from the frozen section at the Indonesian kit ai tiam in Sydney.

doris said...

supposed to be good for diabetics.

yg said...

phil, you must be a be able to appreciate the petai seed.

yg said...

doris, some say also good for those with urinary tract probem.