Pandan Leaves: Natural Fragrant and Food Colorant in Indonesia, a.k.a Vanilla Of The East

in #naturalproductslast year (edited)

Pandan Leaves and Waterdrops.jpg

Colorless and less fragrant foods will reduce the level of appetite. From the kitchen of the Indonesian people, there are several spice leaves which are used as natural fragrances for food, among which the most famous are pandan leaves, bay leaves, Indonesian basil leaves (Kemangi).

Pandan leaves can be said to be a winner for spice leaves which are used as natural fragrances for cooking. That's because pandan leaves can blend in with various flavors of cuisine, ranging from sweet, salty, sour, and savory.

Meanwhile, bay leaves and basil leaves cannot blend with the sweet taste of food.

Pandan Leaves. Source


Pandan Is Vanilla Of The East

Pandan leaves with the scientific name Pandanus Amaryllifolius are found in many countries in South and Southeast Asia. The fragrance of pandan leaves has a hint of rose, almond, and vanilla. This is what makes many people say that pandan leaves are vanilla from the East because the use of food as a natural fragrance is similar to the use of vanilla.

The texture of pandan leaves that are not easily destroyed in food, users can take the benefits of natural food deodorizers without worrying that food will change color.

Cooking rice with a touch of pandan. Source

In daily food, pandan leaves are added to the process of cooking rice to make the rice more flavorful and delicious, which is able to get rid of the smell of rice due to the storage process.


Pandan As A Natural Food Coloring

A Thai dessert mixture made with pandan. Source

Another thing that makes pandan a winner is its ability to become a natural food coloring, which gives it a green color because the content in pandan leaves is rich in chlorophylls.

The texture of pandan leaves that are not easily destroyed makes the user have to smooth the pandan leaves first to take the juice and produce a green color.

In Indonesian society, the color of pandan leaves is used in making traditional cakes and modern pastries.

The use of pandan leaves as a natural coloring is similar to the use of matcha.

A celebrity chef, Nigella Lawson said, "Pandan is the next food trend after avocado and matcha".


Pandan Leaves As Herbs

Pandan water, the perfect thirst quencher. Source

Pandan leaves certainly have herbal benefits like plants used for other herbs.

Pandan leaves contain isoprene esters, tannins, glycosides, alkaloids, and richly scented essential oils

In use as an herbal plant, pandan leaves are used as herbal drinks like ginger and lemongrass drinks.

Pandan Leaves.jpg

Pandan has laxative properties, and its leaves can act as a pain reliever for Headache, Ear pain, Stomach spasms (due to inflammation & infection), Chest pain, Arthritis.

The other side, according to a study in Thailand, published in Pharmacognosy Magazine in 2015, pandan tea/extract helps people lower their sugar levels in their blood. It's been proven that the plasma glucose of the people studied has been lowered significantly throughout the period of study.


Pandan Leaves Are Used to Beautify Food


Good texture and bright colors make pandan leaves suitable for food decoration.

Cut pandan leaves according to the desired shape. Pandan leaves can also be applied to the food table as a form of flowers or used to decorate spoons and knives.

All images that without a source are my own properties taken from my garden.

Pandan Leaves and Waterdrops.jpg



  • Andrianti Ningrum, Mathhias Schreiner; Pandan leaves: “Vanilla of the East” as Potential Natural Food Ingredient; via
  • 4 Health Benefits From The Fragrant Pandan Via Aia.comm


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We always learn sth new and useful from you @anggeklestari:)

Thank you for reading my post.

@anggreklestari, this is really interesting.

It's nice to be able to learn about food substance from other parts of the world.

It's even nicer to discover that there is a herbal and natural alternative ti Vanilla.

I'd definitely love to have Pandan added to my food one of these days.

Can't wait to try it out and feel the experience.

The post is great but doesn't really contain details of your personal experience with Pandan. Try to make it better next time.

We are looking forward to your next contribution.

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Thank you for reviewing my post. Next time I will add my personal experiences.

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Hey @anggreklestari,

Great post! There's a bunch of research on the Pandan around it's use in glucose management, as an antioxidant and even its antibacterial (they've isolated two effective alkaloids) properties of extracts. There is still a lot to learn about this plant and its uses. Pandanus has about 700 species...

Likely that research will discover other potential uses and applications beyond it's traditional uses. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for supporting my post.

Goo NaturalProducts

I'm not sure why this is a 'natural product', but it's definitely a natural medicine, which I didn't quite realise until reading your post, but then so many plants are, aren't they? I love reading about your natural medicine posts, they are always so informative and send me trying to read more about them! I certainly know OF pandan and have seen it in many Malay deserts, and quite like the taste too. We don't really have it here and I've never cooked with it, but I might keep an eye out for it on the Asian markets! Thanks for sharing.

Natural products are often we talk about! Especially about natural medicine :)

The important thing is the source from our nature for natural benefit.

You can using tag: naturalproducts to earn NATRL token.

Indo and Malay always have same ingredient for dishes. Indonesian society always add pandan for desset too

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Ha, but aloe vera isn't a product. It is from nature, and therefore a natural medicine.

But We can call it a product produced by nature. :)

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So neat to hear about things that aren't native here, but are so common in other cultures! I don't know that I've ever had anything with this in it. I hope I get to try it some day, though, as it sounds quite delicious. I'll keep my eyes open for some. :)

In here pandan is my fav plant for cooking ingredient besides bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves :)

Thanks for stopping by

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Are the pictures yours? Really amazing pics, oozing natural feelings.

All pictures without source are mine. The header picture is original nature photograph from my garden.

Thanks for stopping by

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Thx, interesting Post! :)

Remember my mother used to put it on top of rice to add fragrance.

Yeaap my family always add pandan leaf for cooking rice.

Thanks for stopping by

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@anggreklestari, In my opinion we don't need anything factory made because Nature have all amazing things it's just matter of exploration.

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Agree with you. Thanks for stopping by

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Thank you and welcome.

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Thank you for your wonderful sharing.Great post!

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Nice review


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you're making me discover something. I didn't know him at all, but I'm not sure I can find him in France.:-(

You’ve been visited by @walkerland on behalf of Natural Medicine!

I love learning about plants that we don't have access to around here - Pandan Leaves sound absolutely lovely and they are a really gorgeous looking natural medicine.

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