Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pandan Prawns

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.


  1. Hi Sra - I am a hardcore lover of prawns cooked in all myriad ways. Pandan is new to me, checking out the link. End-result looks delicious.

    Here is my personal invitation to participate at VCC Q3 2006. We have extended the deadline to Oct 31. See you at the show! Cheers!

    My Dhaba

  2. Now we are talking! One tasty dish after another! Looks great and way to go Miss!!:)

  3. Is it soemthing like lemon grass.. i have no clue on pandan leaves, but ur curry looks good..

  4. Can't wait to try it. Let me see if i can get some pandan leaves from the Asian store. If not, do you think i can add few drops of Kewra essense as a susbstitute? Thank you for this unique recipe.

  5. Wow...I love prawns too. But how do I get pandan ? You sent me craving now with no pandan (haven't even heard of it before)
    --let me google

  6. Hi Asha, Thanks, waiting to see your 'scary' post.
    Shaheen, thanks. I think lemon grass looks a bit like this, I saw it long ago, anyway. This is more fragrant than taste-making, I think, can't say authoritatively yet as this was my first experiment.
    Archana, I read on the Net that kewra is extracted from another variety of pandan - I think in North India, kewra is used to flavour mutton and chicken, not sure about prawns.
    Sandeepa, try Asian stores, I'm sure they'll have it. I'll get a pic of my plant and post it as soon as I can.

  7. What a coincidence, I just heard of pandan yesterday when I was looking at websites for malaysian recipes.
    I used galangal and lemon grass in my cooking today, the house is filled with the aroma!
    You have a very nice blog going BTW

  8. I haven't heard of pandan leaves but the recipe look delicious

  9. Hi Prema, Thanks. You must be having fun on your holiday!


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