Plant Identification, Cultivation and History
Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant in the Pandanus (screwpine) genus, which is commonly known as pandan leaves (/ˈpændənˌlivz/)… Definition: Pandan (screwpine pandanus) is a type of plant that grows in tropical areas of Asia.
Used widely in Southeast Asian cooking as a flavouring. The characteristic aroma of pandan is caused by the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which maybe gives 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, flowers only grow very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings
Pandan leaves have a sweet, unique flavor that is commmonly used in Southeast-Asian countries to enhance both desserts and savory dishes. The leaves are long and bright green, and when pounded or ground, they lend a sweet taste and aroma to many Thai desserts and some drinks.
Pandan (screwpine) leaves.JPG
Species: P. amaryllifolius
Page 2. Nutrition
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Fragrant plant" inMagahi 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.
One pandan leaf equals zero calories, zero fat, zero sodium and zero cholesterol. The leaves and other parts of the pandan tree contain flavonoids, natural substances which are believed to be antioxidant, anti-allergic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
How to Use Pandan Leaves: To create a paste out of pandan leaves which you can then use for a variety of recipes, cut leaves into 1-inch pieces and place in a pot on the stove together with 1/2 cup water (put as many pieces in as will fit). Boil until leaves are soft (some of the water will evaporate), then process water and leaves together in a food processor to create a paste.
Another Use of Pandan Leaves: Place several leaves on top of each other and tie in a knot to hold them together. Add this to a rice pot to add a subtle pandan flavor to your rice.
Pandan has a very special taste that marries beautifully with coconut milk - there's nothing quite like it!
Source: About.com Thai Food