SINGAPORE - Pandan extract is used in the ubiquitous local favourite pandan chiffon cake, as well as in numerous types of kueh.
Pandan also adds flavour to dishes such as nasi lemak and chicken rice, as well as dessert soups including pulut hitam, bubor cha cha and more.
In nasi lemak, for example, some recipes call for just the leaves - knot them so that they can be easily removed once the rice is cooked; while other recipes will require you to add pandan extract when cooking the rice. This not only adds fragrance to the rice but also gives it a bright green hue.
Pandan extract is available in a bottle from supermarkets but it can be made from scratch in a jiffy too.
In this episode, I teach those who are new to cooking how to prepare pandan leaves.
When knotting or trimming the leaves, you need to look out for the thorns along the edge of the leaves - they are tiny and deceivingly sharp.
To make pandan extract, you will need to cut the leaves into 1cm strips. For every cup of these strips, add about 1/2 a cup of water, a little less if you want a more concentrated extract. Place the leaves and water into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain and use immediately. It can keep for about a day in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir before use.