I woke up this morning with an intense craving for pancakes. I pretty much jumped out of bed and immediately switched on the stove to heat up a pan (don’t worry, I brushed my teeth straight after).
As I reached for the flour in my larder, I saw a tiny green bottle out of the corner of my eye. It was a bottle of Pandan essence. Ding! I thought, why not switch things up a little? It is Good Friday after all. Everyone has green pancakes on Good Friday, don’t they? Okay, maybe not.
Pandan leaves (also called screwpine) have an incredible, subtle flavour and the most wonderful aroma. This is almost like the Southeast Asian vanilla, used in cakes and jellies and other sweet desserts. My granddad even puts some fresh pandan leaves in his car, which he claims deters cockroaches and other creepy crawlies from coming in. Strange, I know.
All you do is use your basic pancake recipe and add a few drops of this thick, green paste to the batter. Simple. I served this drizzled with honey instead of maple syrup – not sure how that would go with the Pandan flavour.
Thank goodness these didn’t come out looking (or tasting) like some freak experiment gone wrong. If you’ve never tried Pandan, you really, really need to.