Petai (Parkia speciosa), we called it chou-dou " 臭豆", or literally stinky beans. It is a unique green bean used in Malaysian home cooking. It grows in long pods on a large tree. Petai is semi-wild; it is usually grown on the outskirts of villages. Normally people get it directly from the forest. The beans have its unique pungency. It is usually cooked in sambal tumis ikan bilis, a fried chilli paste with dried anchovies. Traditionally, petai is believed to flush or “cleanse” the kidneys and urinary tract. How true? I don’t really know or care, but the elderly told me that. But you get a sense of its effect, from the pungent urine, after your petai meal. For that, I think the elderly makes sense.
Preparing ingredients for Sambal Tumis is never easy. During my secondary school time, I ever saw a Malay auntee cooking Sambal Tumis in a traditional way. It's really a pain when it comes to preparation this all the way from scratch. She prepared the spice and ingredients to be pounded with mortar and pestle. It consists of shallots, garlic, red chili, lemon grass, belacan and lots of dried shrimps. To cook the dish, she sautes the spice and pounded dried shrimps till fragrant and the chili oil separated. Then the petai is added to mix well. Gah! This is not for the lazy person like me!
Last week, while I was doing my shopping at Tebrau City Jusco, a lady approach me and asked me to purchase a pack of this to give it a try. Another cheat recipe. Sigh!
Pre-packed Sambal Tumis sauce. She kept assuring me that this pack of pre-packed sauce is really tasty and I will regret if I don't give it a try. I was like... "Urgh? Really so nice meh? Describe until so good wo". Well, since I don't have the habit nor any intention of making my own sambal tumis from scratch at home because I felt that it is too much of effort for doing that. And since this lady say until so good, I decided to give this pack of pre-packed Sambal Tumis sauce a try.
Here's the ingredients I've got :-
Some people may think that since I've got myself a pre-packed sauce, those chopped garlic, onions, chillis may not be necessary. But well.... I don't think so. No matter what, nothing beats the taste of the real stuff you know?
- A pack of Petai from the market. I weighed, and it's about 135grams. Cost me S$2.00
- A pack of Sambal Tumis sauce.
- About 10 prawns or more. It's up to you.
- chopped shallot
- chopped garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 chilli (half chopped, half julienned)
- a small onion
- 1 cup water
- a handful of anchovy fish (Ikan Bilis) - Optional.
You'll spot some tiny white worms if you are lucky. This is why I always like to split them into two. Unless you dont bother about it, as you don't mind to add some exotic "protein" to our sambal petai dish. Ahh... well...
1. Cooking oil on the pan. Fry chopped garlic, shallots, chillis till fragrant.
2. Add in Sambal Tumis sauce. Give it a quick stir.
3. Add in the remaining ingredients (except water), give it a quick toss.
4. Add in water, stir evenly. Cover up, simmer for a minute or two. Until the sauce has thickened and no longer watery. Heat off & dish up. Garnish with julienned chillies, and fried anchovies. Serve.
I fried some anchovies to put on top as a garnishing. Max loves crunchy anchovies. Hence, I did it on purpose for him. However, this is optional. You don't really need to follow.
I think this is a very good pre-packed sauce that will not fail you. It's worth a try. One thing I need to warn you is that... This is another dish that need you to cook more rice for the meal.
p/s : Friends, if you really can't get this pre-packed Sambal Tumis in Singapore, email me (email@example.com). I will try to get it for you when I happened to go JB for shopping. But... must self collection at my place ok? :)