Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Fragrant Drink ....

This is such a common plant in Malaysia to be found in almost all most gardens and frequently along the side of country roads. Yup, it is the fragrant Pandan or Pandanus amaryllifolius (screw pine genus). I have three clusters along the pathways in the garden and they do form part of the fragrant garden.

One needs no introduction to the myriad of uses (culinary or medical) the Pandan leaf is put to in Asian societies.

However, when it comes to making drinks, it is usually added to a variety of other ingredients to make a pandan-flavoured drink. Not many people use it on its own as a drink.

any years ago, the first time we came across it as a drink on its own, was in the drinks menu in a Thai steamboat restaurant and there was an item called pandan "tea" . We were intrigued, of course - pandan tea being a change from the normal Chinese tea or soft drinks or even plain water - and ordered it to find out what it was. It was served piping hot in a normal teapot and all we see in the teapot was a clear drink slightly tinged with green and a lovely pandan fragrance. It was a truly refreshing balance to the steamboat meal.

Well, at home, all you need to to is to cut a few pandan leaves into 5-cm strips and boiled for half an hour.

There you have it - serve it ice-cold or piping hot. A great refreshing drink for a hot or cold day :-)

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