Friday, November 28, 2008

PANDANUS AMARYLLIFOLIUS

Pandanusamaryllifolius is a tropical plant in the screwpine genus which is known commonly as pandan and used widely in Southeast Asian cooking. It is an erect green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, bladelike leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, flowers only very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings.
The plant is rare in the wild but cultivated widely for use as a flavoring in cooking. The leaves are used fresh or wilted, 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, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese and Burmese foods, especially rice dishes and cakes. The leaves are sometimes steeped in coconut milk, which is then added to the dish. They may be tied in a bunch and cooked with the food. They also may be woven into a basket which is used as a pot for cooking rice. Pandan chicken, or gai ob bai toey, is a Thai dish with chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and fried. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts such as pandan cake and sweet beverages.
In Indonesian it is called pandan wangi, soon-mhway in Burmese, and in Vietnamese it is called lá dứa. The leaves of the plant have a repellent effect on cockroaches.
The characteristic aroma of pandan is caused by the aroma compound which also gives white bread, jasmine rice and basmati rice, and bread flowers (Vallais glabra) their typical smell.(heh.heh..scientific classification and binomial name for pandan.)

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