|a warm cup of pandan and ginger tea.|
I want a tropical holiday, I do. I want to stay in a quaint little wooden hut overlooking the beach. I want to enjoy a lovely salad glistening with lime and studded with chilli, before devouring a plate of smoky wok-fried noodles. I want a mango cocktail with a little pink umbrella.
The last holiday I spent in Southeast Asia was two years ago at a resort in Ao Nang, Thailand. I remember loving the cold herbal tea they served as a welcome drink to their guests. It turned out to be just a humble ginger tea - but as an icy beverage, it gave something a little different to the hot ginger teas I usually have.
Thirst-quenching. Perfect on a sunny day.
|knotted pandan leaves, sliced ginger and water, ready to brew...|
For my re-enactment of this ginger tea, I decided to throw in a few pandan leaves as well for extra tropical pizzazz. Pandan, also known as pandanus or screwpine, has been described as Southeast Asia's answer to vanilla. The taste is hard to describe - I find it smooth, mellow and soothing. Very vague, I know. You just have to try it. You can find pandan leaves in some Asian grocery stores. Fresh or frozen ones are preferable - dried ones tend to be much less potent.
In this pandan and ginger tea, the gentle touch of pandan counterbalances the spicy hint of ginger for a harmonious marriage of flavours.
pandan & ginger tea
4 cups water
4 pandan leaves, tied into knots
6 cm ginger (2.5 inches), sliced
3 tablespoons raw sugar (or to taste)
Bring all ingredients to boil in a saucepan.
Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
Add sugar, stir till dissolved and remove from heat. Strain to discard ginger and pandan.
Serve hot or cold.
I chilled mine in the fridge for several hours before drinking, and added a few ice cubes as well. Rejuvenating!
|iced ginger pandan tea.|