In a previous entry, I wrote an entry on how to cook pandan flavored rice. So, what are pandan leaves? From Wikipedia:
"Pandanus Amaryllifolius 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."
Hey, did you know pandan leaves are effective in repelling insects like cockroaches? Here’s a Wikipedia entry that says:
"Cockroaches tend to dislike the smell of pandan leaves. In Asia, a car infested with cockroaches can generally be rid of the cockroaches by leaving a handful of fresh pandan leaves overnight in the vehicle."Cool!