|1. Fragrant Pandan|
Common name: Fragrant Pandan, Screwpine
Chinese name:七葉蘭 (qi ye lan - seven leafed orchid)
Malay name: Pandan Wangi
Synonym: Pandanus odorus, Pandanus latifolius
Origin: Moluccas, Indonesia
|2. A bundle of Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves|
Well, if you don't grow it, you can also buy it from any wet markets or hypermarkets here. They sell in bundles like this. This one is sold by a farmer who grows her own organic vegetables. It costs only RM 50 cents. Also, if you do not grow this plant inside your house compound but plant it somewhere outside your home, it is a free for all thing. Other people may be tempted to cut off a portion of the leaves. Maybe they won't ask if you are not looking. Afterall, it is an emergency! They need it to cook a great main dish and desserts to satisfy loved ones.
|3. My pandan plant|
How to grow the pandan plant?
If I want to grow this plant, I don't go to the nursery. I will go to the market and tell the seller that I wish to grow it. The kind seller will select a stalk that has tiny roots at the base. Then I can go back home to root it by putting it in a container of water and let it stand for a few days until roots appear. Thereafter I will plant it in the well-drained soil.
Special note for those growing pandan in cooler climates
Pandanus amaryllifolius, being a tropical plant loves the warm and humid conditions. It is advisable to plant pandan in a container because it can't survive the cold and frost. You have to bring it indoors or place it in a greenhouse during the winter months and reduce the watering. Do not wet the leaves as the water droplets may freeze and damage the plant or the dampness may lead to rotting.
We use the leaves mainly for cooking. Just like you have the essence/extract of vanilla beans for western cooking, we have the pandan leaves. For example, we can tie a few leaves together into a knot and cook it together with our pot of rice. It gives the rice a sweet, tasty aroma. It also adds a distinctly good flavour to the rice. It is a must have for cooking 'nasi lemak' or coconut flavoured rice. The leaves are not eaten but discarded after the cooking process.
|5. Pandan flavoured bun|
1. In the picture above, our local baker has used pandan leaves to line this curry chicken bun.
Can you grow it in your area?