The term Pandan, which is the Malay name for Pandanus Amaryllifolius has been used in general (for ages, in S E Asia) for leaves used for culinary purpose. It belongs to the Pandanus family. Yesterday, I received an email from a fellow Florida gardener asking if she could use the Screwpine, which is Pandanus Utilis, growing in her neighbor’s yard to cook Pandan Wrapped Chicken.
That led to some web surfing (or should I say digging?) and the result of which I am sharing is strictly for layman’s information. According to Green Deane, my favorite foraging author, in his superb write-up on various Pandanus plants, I quote:
“Pandanus amaryllifolius, uncommon in Florida, is the only species in the genus with fragrant leaves.” ~ do read the full article if interested.
(So, Mabel E, if you are reading this post, I would not advise using your neighbor’s plant ~ just in case.)
You can get this at an Asian grocery store if you would like to try using it to flavor food. It can be used while cooking rice with or without adding extra vegetables and is excellent in cakes, desserts and drinks.
Knotted Pandan leaves with Moringa Oleifera in rice.