Kitchen Tips

Cooking with Pandan leaves

Malaysian and Thai cuisines use different kinds of herbs and spices that add a distinct flavour to the dishes. And among the many fragrant herbs and spices cooking with Pandan leaves is quite common, an aromatic herb used in most of the sweet and savoury dishes including many desserts and drinks.

In fact Pandan leaves resemble lemon grass and are known as the Vanilla of Southeast Asia. They are called as daun pandan in Indonesia and Malaysia, rampe in Sri Lanka, bai toey in Thailand and la dua in Vietnam and are available as fresh, dried and frozen from in most of the Asian grocery stores.

Health Benefits of Pandan Leaves

Image Courtesy: Dorami Chan used under the Creative Commons Licence

Cooking with Pandan Leaves

One of the most popular recipe that used Pandan leaves is the Nasi Lemak. The fresh leaves are torn into strips and tied into a knot and placed in the cook pot with the dish which is removed at the end of cooking. You can also find dried leaves and bottled extract ( available in the form of gels) at some places.

They are particularly used to infuse dishes like rice, curries, desserts both as a flavouring and a colour agent. Some of the Malaysian coconut desserts uses pandan leaves extensively for flavouring and use to make tea with lemongrass which soothes your mind and senses.

Cooking with Pandan leaves

Image Courtesy: ann p used under the Creative Commons Licence

Recipes with Pandan leaves:

Some f the popular recipes made with Pandan leaves are Mung beans with Pandan leaves, Pandan with sticky rice, Pandan chicken, Pandan cake, Kaya jam (coconut jam), Putu Piring, Pandan jelly mooncake, Onde-Onde (Pandan, palm sugar and coconut dumplings), Pandan Ice cream, Coconut Pandan garlic fried rice, vegetarian cashew nut curry with pandan and Thai mango sticky rice.

You can also check out the various health benefits of Pandan leaves here.

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