Petai Beans in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Petai Beans bear long, flat edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds which have a rather peculiar smell, characterised by some as being similar to that added to methane gas.
They are best when combined with other strong flavoured foods such as garlic, chile peppers, and dried shrimp, as in "sambal petai" or added to a Thai curry such as Thai Green Curry of Duck. When young the pods are flat because the seeds have not yet developed, and they hang like a bunch of slightly twisted ribbons, pale green, almost translucent. At this stage they may be eaten raw, fried or pickled. Young tender pods with undeveloped beans can be used whole in stir fried dishes. In North-eastern India, the seeds are dried and seasoned for later consumption. When dried the seeds turn black.
They are an acquired taste, but are popular in southern Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia and North-eastern India.
According to some research, eating petai as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%.