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When preparing Sri Lankan cuisine (especially curries) one of the key components is the Pandan Leaf (also known as a Pandanus Leaf).

These aren't readily available where I live so I was wondering if anyone could suggest an alternative?

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3 Answers 3

Perhaps flavors similar to Indian curries and Asian dishes, such as cilantro, Thai basil, kaffir lime leaves, or celery leaves.

I also just read a recipe that suggested bay leaf would be an appropriate substitute.

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There are enough Sri Lankans live in UK. Therefore, you should be able to find this in a Sri Lankan store (or in an Indian store). This is known as "Rampe" in Sri Lanka. Ask for "Ram-pe" when you visit such a store.

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If you plan more of this cooking in the future, you can order extract. The aroma is subtle and savory. It is similar to that of jasmine rice or fresh-baked white bread. The leaf is frequently used in combination with coconut milk for sweet curries and desserts.

The Pandan Leaf (Pandanus amaryllifolius) is actually used in a wide range of Southeast Asian and South Asian cuisine. The flavor seems to derive from one specific aroma compound (abbr. 2AP). Interestingly, the Maillard reaction that is responsible for browning during baking produces an analog of the compound.

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