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Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant in the screwpine genus which is known commonly as pandan and used widely in Southeast Asian cooking. It is an erect green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, bladelike leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, flowers only very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings.
The plant is rare in the wild but cultivated widely for use as a flavoring in cooking. The leaves are used fresh or wilted, 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, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese 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 also may be woven into a basket which is used as a pot for cooking rice. Pandan chicken, or gai ob bai toey, is a Thai dish with chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and fried. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts such as pandan cake and sweet beverages.
In Indonesian it is called pandan wangi, soon-mhway in Burmese, and in Vietnamese it is called lá dứa. The leaves of the plant have a repellent effect on cockroaches.
The characteristic aroma of pandan is caused by the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline which also gives white bread, jasmine rice and basmati rice, and bread flowers (Vallaris glabra) their typical smell .
- Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2005). Food Plants of the World. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Inc. ISBN 0-88192-743-0
- Li J. and Ho S.H. Pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) As A Natural Cockroach Repellent. Proceedings of the 9th National Undergraduate Research Opportunites Programme (2003-09-13).
- S. Wongpornchai, T. Sriseadka, S. Choonvisase (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. line feed character in
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