Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant in the Pandanus (screwpine) genus, which is commonly known as pandan leaves (//), and is used widely in Southeast Asian cooking as a flavoring. The characteristic aroma of pandan is caused by the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which may give white bread, jasmine rice and basmati rice (as well as bread flowers Vallaris glabra) their typical smell. The plant is rare in the wild but is widely cultivated. It is an upright, green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, blade-like leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, with flowers only growing very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings.
In Bangladesh it is called ketaki, along with the other variety of pandan there (Pandanus fascicularis), and is used to enhance the flavor of pulao, biryani and sweet coconut rice pudding, payesh if basmati rice is not used. It acts as a cheap substitute for basmati fragrance as one can use normal, non-fragrant rice and with the help of pandan the dish tastes and smells like basmati is used. It is called pandan wangi in Indonesian, hsun hmway (ဆွမ်းမွှေး) in Burmese, pandán in Filipino, bai tooey in Thai, rampe in Sinhala, sleuk toi in Khmer, Daun Pandan in Nonya cooking, lá dứa in Vietnamese, 香兰 ("Xiāng lán") in Chinese and बासमतिया पौधा [bɑːsmət̪ɪjɑː pɑʊd̪ʱɑː] "fragrant plant" in Magahi and Bhojpuri due to its fragrance.
The leaves are used either fresh or dried, and are commercially available in frozen form in Asian grocery stores in nations where the plant does not grow. They have a nutty, botanical fragrance which enhances the flavor of Indonesian, Singaporean, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Khmer and Burmese foods, especially rice dishes and cakes.
The leaves are sometimes steeped in coconut milk, which is then added to the dish. They may be tied in a bunch and cooked with the food. They may be woven into a basket which is used as a pot for cooking rice. Pandan chicken, (Thai: ไก่อบใบเตย, kai op bai toei), is a dish of chicken parts wrapped in pandan leaves and baked. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts such as pandan cake and sweet beverages. Filipino cuisine uses pandan as a flavoring in buko pandan fruit salad, as well as rice-based pastries and numerous sweet drinks and desserts.
- Wongpornchai et al. (2003).
- "Duan Pandan or Screwpine Leaves - Nonya Cooking Ingredient".
- IJsselstein. "Lyn's Recipes Corner". Buko Pandan Salad. Jeroen Hellingman. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Li & Ho (2003).
- Li J. and Ho S.H. (2003). Pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) as a Natural Cockroach Repellent. Proceedings of the 9th National Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (2003-09-13).
- Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2005). Food Plants of the World. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Inc. ISBN 0-88192-743-0
- Wongpornchai, S.; Sriseadka, T.; & Choonvisase, S. (2003). "Identification and quantitation of the rice aroma compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, in bread flowers (Vallaris glabra Ktze)". J. Agric. Food. Chem. 51 (2): 457–462. doi:10.1021/jf025856x. PMID 12517110.
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