Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Palav or fried rice at home often had these aromatic, long leaves curled languidly around it. They didn’t know what it was called, but were using it on the advice of a friend who brought them the plant from Malaysia many, many years ago. Only recently, I asked that friend’s family to give me one, and it arrived after two months, with a pretty pink ribbon tied around the pot!
This is the first dish I’m using it in – after letting it grow a bit in my own place. I can’t say it tasted of pandan - but it filled the house with its fragrance even before it went into the pan, tempting me to break off a conversation on the phone in the next room and savour its richness to the full.
Here’s how I made it:
250 gm shelled and de-veined prawns
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed/minced
3 green chillies
200 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
3 pandan leaves
1 tbsp oil, or even less
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil, fry onions, garlic and green chillies together till soft. Then put in the coriander and turmeric powders, and on low heat, fry till they release their flavours. Put in the pandan leaves, stir for a few seconds, slip in the prawns and coconut milk. Add some salt, stir and let it simmer till it thickens. Take off heat and add pepper. Serve with rice, ordinary or Basmati. I also think it will taste good with dosa, aapam or idiaapam.