Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pandanus is a genus of monocots with about 600 known species. Plants vary in size from small shrubs less than 1 m tall, up to medium-sized trees 20 m tall, typically with a broad canopy and moderate growth rate. The trunk is stout, wide-branching, and ringed with many leaf scars. They commonly have many thick prop roots near the base, which provide support as the tree grows top-heavy with leaves, fruit, and branches. The leaves are strap-shaped, varying between species from 30 cm up to 2 m or more long, and from 1.5 cm up to 10 cm broad.

Pandan (P. amaryllifolius) leaves are used in Southeast Asian cooking to add a distinct aroma to rice and curry dishes such as nasi lemak, kaya ('jam') preserves, and desserts such as pandan cake. They are known as daun pandan in Indonesian and Malay; and 斑蘭 (bān lán) in Mandarin. Fresh leaves are typically torn into strips, tied in a knot to facilitate removal, placed in the cooking liquid, then removed at the end of cooking. Dried leaves and bottled extract may be bought in some places.

Vernacular names:
Chinese (Cantonese): Baan laahn, Chan heung laahn, Chat yihp laahn, Heung lahm tauh
Chinese (Mandarin): 班兰 (班蘭) [bān lán], Chen xiang lan, Qi ye lan, Xiang lin tou
Dutch: Schroefpalm, Pandan
English: Pandanus, Screwpine, Umbrella tree, Screw tree
French: Pandanus
German: Schraubenbaum, Schraubenpalme
Indonesian: Pandan
Italian: Pandano
Japanese: Nioi-takonoki, Nioi-adan
Malay: Pandan Wangi
Spanish: Pandan, Pandano
Thai: ใบเตย, เตยหอม, เตย, Panae-wo-nging, Bai Toey, Toey-hom, Toey

Adapted from wikipedia

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