Using Screwpine Water (Kewra) in Indian Cooking
This product is fairly unusual, it is water that holds the essence from the flower of the Pandan palm plant. The female tree gives rise to the flower and a fruit known as drupe.
The leaves from the free are primarily used for handicrafts where the young leaves are cut into strips and weaved to make mats and baskets.
In Southeast Asian cooking the leaf is used to fragrance a number of dishes and cooks would tie a knot in the leaf and add it directly to the cooking pot.
In India the pandan leaf in used to fragrance lamb briyanis and pilaus which are made with basic rice (not Basmati) because pandan and Basmati contain the same fragrant compounds.
Screwpine water is distilled from the pandas flower and holds its essence. This is used to flavour drinks, deserts and dishes. It is also used in ceremonies of worship in India.Back to Cooking guides