How To Cook Pandan Chicken Curry & Pandan Rice

As someone who’s run a Malaysian food business for decades, I’m always trying to strike a balance between maintaining “authentic” flavours while cutting down on time spent in the kitchen (thanks to labour costs and staff shortage issues). My friends at recently sent me some samples of their natural pandan powder (made from pure pandan leaves with no artificial colouring) so I decided to give them a try in my cooking.

Just to clarify in case you’ve no idea what pandan is, I’ve always described it as “Asian vanilla” – it’s subtle and it’s used as a flavouring agent in both sweet and savoury dishes in Southeast Asia. If you come across green-looking snacks, it’s a good bet they’re pandan-flavoured, though to be fair, a lot of the pandan essence you see is “enhanced” with artificial colouring.

Typically I’d use fresh (or frozen) pandan leaves, and either blend them with water, then strain, or when cooking rice or curries, I would bruise the leaves, tie them into a knot and add them to my cooking.

The pandan powder supplied by My Blue Tea saves me having to hunt down pandan leaves in my corner of Sydney (no mean feat), and it saves me having to blend them etc. – I just use it straight from the packet, as you’ll see in the video here >>

Pandan Coconut Rice


2 cups jasmine rice

2 cups water (approx)

1.5  tsps pandan powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 TBSP coconut milk powder


  1. Combine all ingredients except for the coconut milk powder in a saucepan or rice cooker; cook until rice is done.
  2. Sprinkle coconut milk powder over the surface of the rice, stir with a rice paddle and mix well. Serve.

Pandan Chicken Curry


1.2 kg chicken drumsticks

2 brown onions, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 stalks lemongrass
1-inch knob ginger
4 Tbsps Malaysian curry powder
1/2 cup oil

1 TBSP pandan powder

2 stalks curry leaves (optional)
1.5 Tbsp chicken powder
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
3 cups water + 1/4 cup coconut milk powder


  1. Coat chicken drumsticks with Malaysian curry powder.
  2. Combine onions, garlic & ginger in a food processor; blend.
  3. Transfer into a saucepan and fry until most of the moisture has evaporated.
  4. Add oil, and cook further until lightly browned.
  5. Add chicken and sear.
  6. Add all other ingredients, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat; serve hot with pandan coconut rice.


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