A popular cooking ingredient from South-East Asia, pandan leaves are widely known for their positive culinary benefits. This green coloured shrub is loved for the sweet aroma it puts in dishes prepared with it, which appeals to people’s appetites. The leaves are generally used as condiments in the preparation of both daily traditional and ceremonial meals. In fact, some beverages and sweets are made with these leaves for their strong pandan flavors.
However, the leaves are not only used as culinary ingredients but are also used for spiritual and medicinal purposes too.
What are Pandan Leaves?
Pandanus amaryllifolius is a green leafy shrub belonging to the Pandanus genus. This tropical plant can grow up to 2 meters tall, has round stems and narrow blade-like leaves. Sometimes, people plant their own pandan leaves in their gardens for easier and regular supply. The sweet-smelling leaves of this plant release their attractive aroma when crushed or cut to be used for cooking. Pandan is sometimes referred to as “the vanilla of South East Asian cooking”, and is now gaining fast acceptance here in the United States too.
What are the Benefits of Pandan Leaves?
Pandan leaves have several benefits. It can be used for several things especially for all types of cooking. Its enchanting aroma makes it a perfect additive when boiling rice. It can be used as wrapping when preparing meat as it helps the meat to retain moisture and remain juicy and tender. These amazing leaves are also beneficial to the home and environment as its natural fragrance can be used optimally as an air freshener – even for cars.
Pandan Leaves have great health benefits as it can be used in preparing medicine to treat several illnesses including;
1. Lowering high blood pressure
2. Helps with sensitive skin
3. Eliminate Dandruff and Hair Loss
4. Helps Weak Nerves
6. Increases Appetite
7. Mild Laxative (treats constipation) for Children
8. Helps to Detox Liver
9. Pain Relief (headache, ear pain, chest pain, arthritis)
10. Helps with blood sugar management (diabetes)
Can you eat Pandan Leaves and How Does it taste?
Pandan leaves are tough, stringy and fibrous but also very thin. Their chewy nature makes them not exactly good for consumption alone. So, pandan leaves can be eaten, but they are generally not eaten.
When eaten, however, the pandan leaf is a mouthful and leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Although some people do not mind the taste, pandan leaves don’t exactly have a favorable taste when consumed on its own.
Where can we buy Pandan Leaves in the U.S?
You can find the pandan plant for sale in several markets across the United States, especially in the Asian vegetable markets. You can also find the pandan leaves for sale on online stores like Amazon, Grocery Thai, etc.
Rhymba Hills products which contains Pandan Leaves are (please click on product below to try):
– Rhymba Hills Reelax