Wednesday, 21 September 2011

pandan & ginger tea

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.

30 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks absolutely terrific! Where can you buy pandan? :) I'm willing to try this out, because the weather is kind of weird in Bordeaux right now, and I'm totally craving for tea (iced or hot alike). Thanks for the recipe!
    Have a nice day!

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  2. Hey Marie-Anne, I got mine from an Asian grocery store. Try asking at your local ones... I hope they have it! :D

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  3. Surprisingly I have never seen pandan and ginger being paired together in tea :O it should smell therapeutic

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  4. you should try preparing it with ostmanthus. my sister has been doing that for a few weeks and she vouches for it. :)

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  5. Tigerfish, it tastes therapeutic too!

    Thanks for the tip, Michelle - I must try brewing with osmanthus in the future. :D

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  6. This looks so soothing...like something cozy for bedtime!

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  7. I just want *any* holiday. And pandan! I've only tasted it a very few times, but loved it. Have yet to scour the Asian grocery stores in Canberra for it...

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  8. I think that's the beauty of this ginger tea, Charissa - it's soothing either warm or cold. We've been having some gorgeous sunny days though, so I'm definitely going for cold at this point. :D

    I think you've got it Hannah. Any holiday will do! I hope you do manage to find pandan in Canberra - I'm sure there has to be shops that stock it! It didn't take long for me to track them down in Melbourne.

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  9. Recently I've been coming across a lot of recipes using Pandan leaves. One I'm about to try is Pandan ice cream. Just working out where to source fresh leaves.

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  10. Yum. . even with the warm weather coming upon us, I'm still craving my cups of tea!

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  11. Good luck Hotly Spiced! Just ask around at Asian grocery stores and chances are if they don't have it, they might know another shop that does.

    Cassandra, this tea is delicious chilled, so no reason to forsake it even with very warm weather! :D

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  12. I don't know how easily I can get pandanus (I have some kewra essence, but it isn't the same!) but iced ginger tea sounds like such a good idea!

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  13. HAHA... I like how you used the term, "pizzazz". Reminded me of a funny incident I had with a friend not too long ago =)

    This tea sure looks like it's got a great combo of flavours, NICE! =D

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  14. Foodycat, fresh ginger tea does have such a different character when it's chilled. Give it a go, even without the pandan!

    Thanks chinmayie!

    Thanks Winston! :D

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  15. This post has made me so, so, SO thirsty! That ginger tea sounds delightful.

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  16. Awesome idea, Leaf! I drink quite a bit of ginger tea, too, but haven't tried it with pandan as you have. Which local Asian grocer carries the leaves?

    PS need a travel buddy for that holiday...?

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  17. Aww. Have you got a holiday lined up? I want a holiday too, even though I had one not too recently... isn't that always the way?

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  18. Thanks Koci! :D

    Yasmeen, I got mine at the one on Commercial Road near Prahran Market. I don't know if they always have it though. I think I might also have seen them at the Asian grocery inside Prahran Market. :)

    Unfortunately I don't have a holiday lined up, Agnes, I wish! Maybe sometime next year, hopefully. ;)

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  19. YUM, I love pandan, so much so that I made Stephen make me a pandan cake for my bday :) This tea sounds great!

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  20. Perfect for the upcoming summer season here! I'll keep this one in mind for a hot day!

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  21. I had this drink after a 2-hour massage in a Bali resort at Candi Dasa and it was one of the most soothing drinks ever. I think it had honey or palm sugar which gave it a little more complexity in the sweetness. You are right about a tropical holiday, this kind of drink just puts me on a lazy beach chair in Bali or Phuket :)

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  22. That sounds lovely and refreshing! I would like a glass please :) I'm in KL at the moment and sipping watermelon juice :P

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  23. Apple - or a warm spring day. :D

    Chopinandmysaucepan - it really is soothing isn't it? I might try it with honey or palm sugar next time.

    Thanks msihua! I would like a glass of that watermelon juice too. :p

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  24. I drink ginger tea almost everyday, it's a staple for me. I'm interested in trying it with pandan leaves as you've suggested.

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  25. Pandan leaves do add a lovely touch to ginger tea. I hope you try it and like it Sylvie. :)

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  26. oooo yum! and I have fresh pandan leaves in my fridge! :D

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  27. Thanks for coming by Shellie! Hurrah for fresh pandan leaves! :D

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  28. I love the flavor of pandan. This tea must taste divine!

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