Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pandan (screwpine pandanus)


Pandan leaves are called HIONG CHO, fragant leaves to the Chinese. We use it in our sweet dessert soups like Mung bean soup, red bean soup, Bobo-chacha. It is also pounded and the juice squeezed to make cakes. The most famous would be cooking Hainan Chicken rice. Among the Ngonyas, it is a must plant to grow in the garden. It also gives a pale green dye for cakes.
Mother planted two species. The smaller, but more fragant for cooking, and the bigger leaves for wrapping the CHUNG, Chinese rice dumplings eaten at Dragon Boat festival.
My Sri Lankan friend put it in their curry.
In my gardening allotment, I have the smaller species. I don't use it because the water engineer doesn't like the smell. People come and help themselves. Some don't even ask me for them. One friend admitted that she had been taking my pandan leaves because mine is very fragrant.
My Singapore friend says  " We have mosquito bites almost every day. Since placing pandan leaves in our home, I have only been bitten by mosquitoes twice during these months. " Eastcoastlife..
***My Mum used her mortar and pestle a lot. I don't and left mine in Singapore.***

1 comment:

Yvonne Chung said...

Hi, do you have pandan plants in nz?

Yvonne