How to use pandan leaves to cook Malay Cuisine

About pokok pandan

Pandan is a tropical plant native to Malaysia.

The leaves are long, narrow at the end and pointed. The height of pandan tree is about a metre tall.

Pandan leave has multiple usage in the Malay cuisine. It can be used to cook Nasi Lemak and sweet porridge like Bubur Pulut Hitam and Bubur Kacang Hijau.

Besides that, it also can act as natural food colouring, a brush and natural fragrance to cooking.

How to make

Pandan extract

Pandan brush

Pandan plant when it is not trimmed can grow into this height.

Cooking rice with pandan

Nasi lemak is one of the great example of cooking rice with pandan.

The pandan leaves give a good aroma to the rice while maintaining the white colour of rice. 

It does not  matter how many pandan leaves you put in the rice but the colour of the rice remains white. 

One of the question is when to put pandan leaves when cook rice?

At beginning of cooking, put pandan leaves all at once in the pot with rice.

The longer the pandan leaves in the rice while cooking, the more fragrance comes from it.

Not only nasi lemak but other types of rice produce  better aroma with pandan leaves such as Nasi Minyak and Nasi Briyani

Natural colouring in food

Sometimes other than putting the pandan leaves in the nasi lemak, I put pandan extract in it. I use four tablespoons of pandan extract to mix in the rice.

I make extract fresh from pandan leaves for Nasi Lemak and it tastes better. This is my alternative  way of cooking Nasi Lemak.

The pandan extract can produce a beautiful very light green colour of the nasi lemak with a good taste and fragrance smell.

This fragrance aroma may raise our appetite to eat. 

Malay kuih use pandan juice  for natural food colouring such as Kuih Seri Muka and Puteri Ayu.

The kuih is tasty and has a nice fragrance. 

How to make pandan extract

  • 3 pandan leaves 
  • 125 ml mineral water 

Cut the pandan leaves using scissors into pieces.

Add in water and blend it using a food processor until it becomes fine. 

Strain the mixture to remove the fine leaves. We only want the pandan water.

Stored the pandan water in a jar and refrigerate it for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, the pandan extract will be dark green and remain at the bottom while water is at the top.

Remove the water and take only the extract.

Pandan extract is ready. 

How to make pandan brush

Take two pandan leaves and place it on top of one another.

Then using scissors cut the pointed end of the leaves giving you only a straight shaped leaves.

These straight shaped leaves is then cut into three with each length aproximately 10 cm.

Use twist band to tie at the end of leaves and cut a bit at the other end to make it look like a brush.

This pandan brush can be used to grease the pan using cooking oil for cooking Kuih Cara and grill satay.

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