Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius)



Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) is a tropical plant in the screwpine family of Pandanaceae. Its leaves are widely used in Southeast Asian cooking. Pandan is an upright green plant with long, blade-like leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, and flowers only very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings. Pandan is known as Ketaki in Bangladesh, and is used to enhance the flavor of pulao, biriyani, and payesh (a sweet coconut rice pudding). In Indonesia, it is called pandan wangi, and soon-mhway in Burmese.

Pandan is widely cultivated for its leaves, for use as a flavoring in cooking. The leaves are used fresh or wilted, and are available in frozen form in Asian grocery stores in countries where the plant does not grow. The leaves have a nutty, botanical fragrance which enhance the flavor of Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, Indonesian, Filipino, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese and Burmese foods, especially rice dishes and cakes. The leaves can be steeped in coconut milk, which is then added to the dish, tied in a bunch and cooked with the food, or wrapped around the food and fried. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts, such as Nyonya kuih and pandan cakes, and sweet beverages. Pandan contains aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline which also gives white bread, jasmine rice, and basmati rice their typical smell. The leaves can also be used as a potpourri, and also have a repellent effect on cockroaches. Bottled pandan extract is also available in shops, but it is often contains artificial flavoring and artificial green food coloring.

PandanPandan
Author: Midori (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Pandan-flavor chiffon cakePandan-flavor chiffon cake
Author: Midori (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

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