Tamarind (Asam) Prawns with Squid and Petai Beans

Yesterday, my mum wanted to have lunch cooked by me and she pointed excitedly at the recipe of Tamarind Prawns found in this Malay cookbook. It particularly intrigued me as I have never cooked Malay cuisine before and judging from the recipe it was fairly simple.

Now one thing to note that Malay dishes are commonly believed to be fattening (maybe it is so), but I believe that has mainly to do with the coconut milk frequently added in a number of their curry and spice dishes. The Tamarind Prawns dish is by far what I believe to be almost all natural ingredients using natural herbs and spices. A very interesting concoction to whip up.

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Left - Herbs and Spices ; Right - Mr. Squid 

I went to the market and of course, couldn't resist adding more ingredients and shaping the recipe to my taste. I bought a squid and Petai beans as part of my now unique creation. (Of course some of you may have cooked this way before, but its always good to experiment without reference from anything. Intuition I always say=)

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Left - Petai Beans ; Right - Prawns

After cooking the dish, I very much enjoyed the sourness of the tamarind, plus the fresh seafood taste of the prawns and squid all mixed together in one fine gravy. The addition of the petai beans added that unique taste (though not all may like it because it resembles...er...ah hum...flatulence) Serve it hot with steamed white rice, and I believe a satisfying, quick and easy lunch is made =) Yummy.

Interested in serving this to your guests and family?

Recipe : Tamarind Prawns with Squid and Petai Beans


  • 300grams prawns. (Shelled or whole, up to you. But keep the heads please if you shell them)
  • 20grams ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass (serai)
  • 2 pieces bird's eye chilli (chilli padi)
  • 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 1 medium sized red onion
  • 1 squid, cleaned and sliced. 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • water 
  • Tumeric (Kunyit) Powder (optional)
  1. If you shelled the prawns, keep the heads and with 1 cup of water, place them in a frying pan to make the stock. Remove prawn heads and keep the liquid left.
  2. Mix half cup water with the tamarind paste to create the tamarind juice. Note you might want to use your fingers to press out the juice from the flesh. Once done, remove the tamarind seeds and keep the flesh and juice.
  3. Slice ginger, garlic, lemon grass, chilli and red onion. Add to a blender and top it with 1 tablespoon of water. Blend till fine to form a spice paste.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in pan. Stir fry the spice paste till fragrant. Be careful not to burn the paste. Add in the tamarind juice and flesh. Stir fry for 1 minute.
  5. If you have the prawn stock, add it now, otherwise Add in 1/2 cup of water. Let the tamarind gravy simmer a little.
  6. Add in the tumeric powder. 
  7. Now add in the petai beans and squid. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add in the sugar.
  8. Once you are certain you are happy with the consistency of the gravy and the saltiness, stir in the prawns. Cover and leave to simmer for 1 minute. Top the gravy with more water if needed or simmer for a less watery gravy.
  9. Serve hot with steamed white rice. Enjoy.

Voila you have now created Tamarind Prawns with Squid and Petai Beans!



Steamed Coconut with Milk and Egg White

I chanced upon this interesting dessert at the Crystal Jade Restaurant. It had to be good otherwise my family and I wouldn't have gone back to eat it twice. The dessert is perhaps a remarkable idea by the chef and all credit goes to him or her, but I simply had to recreate the dish at home.

I have to admit that it didn't turn out restaurant style but I have got most of the recipe for this dessert down to pat. The texture of this dish served hot is very smooth, almost fine. Couple that together with the sweetness of the coconut and the softness of the egg white, mmmmm...I am sure you can imagine that savoury taste.

Click the link below for the recipe!


Its very easy to prepare and serve your guests and definitely a step away from the traditional fruits and jelly.

Steamed Coconut served with Milk and Egg Whites

  • 1 coconut
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  1. Prepare steamer. Make sure your coconut can fit into the steamer.
  2. Drain the coconut juice into a bowl. Keep the whole husk.
  3. In the bowl, add in the egg white, milk and sugar. With a whisk or fork, beat the mix until everything is like..well mixed.
  4. Pour back the mix into the coconut husk and steam for 45 minutes. Serve hot!

Have fun cooking!


At April 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

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