You would have probably encountered pandan on more than one occasion in the food that you have consumed. The leaves of this aromatic plant, native to Southeast Asia, have an intense and pleasant fragrance. This makes it popular in cooking as it is able to heighten the flavours in food and in turn, enhance one’s appetite.
Did you know that in some remote communities in the region, pandan leaves are used in the ceremonial worship of supernatural beings? Even during religious celebrations, you might see these leaves in attendance when devotees express gratitude to their gods.
In a more local context, we often see drivers with bunches of pandan leaves in their vehicles, to keep pests like cockroaches at bay. At some point in our lives, we could have done this ourselves too!
This versatile plant is an essential ingredient particularly in this part of the world, as its leaves are often used in a huge variety of traditional foods. Its aroma and colour are frequently found in cakes, desserts, and even curries and beverages. My favourite is the Pandan Chiffon Cake! Are you ready to try your hand at this all-time favourite with our simple recipe?
Written by: Beverly Ho, Senior Manager (Volunteers, Programming)
In her down time, Beverly can be found immersed in craftwork and gardening, or eyes glued to a thriller/ sci-fi movie/ novel! She enjoys cooking, singing, photography, gaming on her PS4 and just that bit of simple sports… since the limbs are now a lot less flexible with age.