Kewra, keora or kewda (Hindi: केवड़ा, Bengali: কেওড়া, Odia: କିଆ, Urdu: کیوڑہ, Punjabi: ਕੇਵੜਾ) is an essential oil distilled from the male flower of the fragrant screwpine. The plant is native to Tropical Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia, and the oil is used as a flavoring agent throughout much of these regions.
The flower is a vital ingredient in Kewara and is used in special-occasion dishes in South Asia, particularly those associated with Muslim communities. Kewra flowers have a sweet, perfumed odour with a pleasant quality similar to rose flowers, but kewra is more fruity. The aqueous distillate (kewra water, pandanus flower water) is quite diluted.[self-published source?]. Kewra flowers & leaves are also essential in worship of Hindu Goddess Manasa, who is worshipped by certain Hindu communities.
Approximately 95% of total kewra flower exported from India is collected from areas surrounding Berhampur city in Ganjam district. The coastal areas of Chhatrapur, Rangeilunda, Patrapur and Chikiti are famous for their aromatic pandanus plantations. Arguably, flowers from coastal locales have an exquisite floral note that rival inland varieties with the most famous varieties being those endemic and cultivated in Gopalpur-on-Sea. Cultivation of kewra flower is a major source of income in Ganjam district and there are nearly 200 registered kewra distillation factories. Kewra is also used in traditional Indian perfumery, both as functional fragrance and in Ittar.
Chemical composition: abstract
The chemical composition of the essential oils obtained by water distillation of the staminate inflorescences of Kewda (Pandanus odorifer. var. fasicularis). The major components of kewda oil were found to be 2-phenethyl methyl ether (65.6–75.4%), Terpinen-4-ol (11.7–19.5%), p-Cymene (1.0–3.1%) and Alpha Terpineol (1.2–2.9%)
- Adkar PP, Bhaskar VH (22 December 2014). "Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewda): A Review on Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Nutritional Aspects". Adv. Pharmacol. Sci. 2014 (120895): 120895. doi:10.1155/2014/120895. PMC 4408760. PMID 25949238.
- Olaechea, Carlos C. (30 May 2020). "The most refreshing drink in the world". The Week. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
- "Pandanus (Pandanus odoratissimus L.)". Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
- http://www.microstat.in/index.php/95-of-total-kewda-flower-exported-from-india-is-collected-from-nearby-places-of-berhampur-city/[permanent dead link]
- Mishra, Reeta; Dash, PK; Rao, YR (2000). "Chemical Composition of the Essential Oils of Kewda and Ketaki". Journal of Essential Oil Research. 12 (2): 175–178. doi:10.1080/10412905.2000.9699491. S2CID 82422655.