In Sri Lanka, it is called rampé and its grown almost in every household. Most of the Sri Lankan dishes use these leaves for aroma along with curry leaves. In India it is called annapurna leaves; in Bangladesh, it is called pulao pata (পোলাও পাতা ); and in the Maldives, it is called ran’baa along with the other variety of pandan there (Pandanus fascicularis), and is used to enhance the flavor of pulao, biryani, and sweet coconut rice pudding, or payesh if basmati rice is not used. It acts as a cheap substitute for basmati fragrance, as one can use normal, nonfragrant rice and with pandan the dish tastes and smells like basmati is used.
The leaves are used either fresh or dried, and are commercially available in frozen form in Asian grocery stores of nations where the plant does not grow. They have a nutty, botanical fragrance that is used as a flavor enhancer in many Asian cuisines, especially in rice dishes, desserts, and cakes.
The leaves are sometimes steeped in coconut milk, which is then added to the dish. They may be tied in a bunch and cooked with the food. They may be woven into a basket which is used as a pot for cooking rice. Pandan chicken, (Thai: ไก่ห่อใบเตย, kai ho bai toei), is a dish of chicken parts wrapped in pandan leaves and fried. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts such as pandan cake and sweet beverages. Filipino cuisine uses pandan as a flavoring in some coconut milk-based dishes as well as desserts like buko pandan. It is also used widely in rice-based pastries such as suman and numerous sweet drinks and desserts.
Bottled pandan extract is available in shops, and often contains green food coloring.
Use in traditional medicine
P. amaryllifolius leaves have a number of local medicinal uses. Leaf extracts have been thought to reduce fever, relieve indigestion and flatulence, and act as a cardiotonic.[qualify evidence]
The leaves are used in perfume industry and also medicinally important as diuretic, anti-diabetic and for skin diseases. Leaves are soaked in coconut oil for several days and the oil is then used for rheumatic problems. Infusion of leaves is taken internally as a sedative in rerestleness. In Thailand, this is a traditional medicine for treating diabetes. Studies have established significant repellent activity of P. amaryllifolius against American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana L.), but similar effects against other species of cockroaches have not yet been looked into. It is said that taxi drivers in Singapore and Malaysia keep bunches of P. amaryllifolius) in their taxis to ward off cockroaches. P. amaryllifolius has the secondary benefit of adding visual and olfactory pleasure to humans. Traditionally, leaves are used as medicinal bbath for women after childbirth in Malaysia and also for hair wash. It is also used for preparing lotion along with ash and vinegar to treat measles, as purgative, in the treatment of leprosy, sore throat and as diuretic in Philippines. In addition, leaf extract has been reported to possess antioxidant properties.Traditionally a mixture of Henna (Lawsonia inermis), Limau purut ([[Citrus hystrix]]), coconut milk, milk and P. amaryllifolius leaf are used to clean hair and to provide fragrance. The leaves are used as food flavouring and in traditional medicine in the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. Hot water extracts of the root of this plant (reported as P. odorus Ridl.) show hypoglycaemic activity, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid has been isolated as the active principle. Some suggest that P. amaryllifolius essence can be a possible substitute to vanilla essence.
Use as natural air freshener
The leaves possess a pleasant aroma and can be used as natural air fresheners. In Thailand, cab drivers sometimes use pandan for this purpose.
^Wongpornchai, S.; Sriseadka, T. & Choonvisase, S. (2003). "Identification and quantitation of the rice aroma compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, in bread flowers (Vallaris glabra Ktze)". J. Agric. Food Chem. 51 (2): 457–462. doi:10.1021/jf025856x. PMID12517110.
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