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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Petai or Bitter Bean

Petai or Parkia Speciosa or Bitter Bean or Stink  Bean, is a type of fruit that becomes an important source dishes in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Southern Thailand , Burma and Northern India. The seeds, also called "Petai,” consumed when young, either fresh or boiled.  Petai beans, a characteristic odor and pungent, eaten fresh or used as ingredients mixed menus.  They are best when combined with other strongly flavored foods such as garlic, chili peppers, dried shrimp, or shrimp paste, as in sambal Petai.

Petai trees height can reach 20m and less branched. The leaves are compound, composed of parallel. Compound interest, arranged in head (typical Mimosoidae). Flowers appear usually near the end of the branch. The fruit is large, elongated, pods type. From one head can be found up to a dozen pieces. In one piece there are up to 20 seeds, which are green when young and wrapped by a membrane rather thick, light brown color. Petai will dry out if ripen and release the seeds.

Scientific Classification:

  • Kingdom         : Plantae
  • Division          : Magnoliophyta
  • Class               : Magnoliopsida
  • Order               : Fabales
  • Family             : Fabaceae
  • Genus              : Parkia
  • Species            : P. speciosa

Harvesting:
Petai is actually a tropical forest plant, but now mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia have become economically cultivated plants. Of course the main reason is the background of economic value. Harvesting of the fruit can be done in two different ways. One way is to use a long pole and the other is by climbing up to the tree.

In Indonesia and Malaysia  harvest season for Petai happens long enough between August until January.

Food Value:
According to Wikipedia.com Petai has four times more protein than Apple fruit, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. Petai also a good source of energy; 142 kcal per 100 g seed. Petai contain three natural sugars, sucrose, fructose, and glucose combined with fiber. The combination is capable of providing an instant energy boost, but long enough and big enough effect. The content of phosphorus in the petai is also quite good, which is 115 mg per 100 g of grain. Petai also contains quite high vitamin C; 46 mg per 100 g of grain and vitamin A which is 200 IU per 100 g.