If you can’t get fresh pandan leaves for the pancakes, substitute 1 teaspoon pandan paste, which you can easily purchase from Asian or Indian food stores. It will make the pancakes very green!
- 5 pandan leaves, chopped (see Note)
- 200 ml water
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 1 egg
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- large pinch of salt
- vegetable oil, for cooking
- 150 g (1½ cups) fresh grated or grated frozen coconut, thawed (see Note)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) water
- 90 g (½ cup) shaved palm sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 40 minutes
For the filling, combine the palm sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Add the coconut and stir to combine well.
Meanwhile, combine the pandan and water in a food processor (best in a blender to get it fine enough) and process until a coarse paste forms. Transfer to a sieve placed over a bowl and strain the mixture well, pushing down on the pandan with your hands to extract as much liquid as possible. Combine the pandan liquid, coconut milk, egg, flour and salt in a food processor and process until a smooth, thin batter forms, adding a little extra water if the mixture is too thick (it should lightly coat the back of a spoon.)
Heat a 16 cm (base measurement) non-stick frying pan or crepe pan over medium-high and brush lightly with oil. Add about 2½ tablespoons (37 g = slightly less than 2 tablespoon) of the batter to the pan, or enough to thinly coat the base, working quickly and swirling the pan to coat it evenly. Cook for 2 minutes or until the pancake looks dry on the top then turn over and cook for another 1-2 minutes (only cooked for 20-30 seconds on second side to maintain colour, and was cooked through) or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture, brushing the pan with a little extra oil if necessary and adding a little more water to the batter if it thickens on standing. Divide the coconut filling among the pancakes, placing it in a neat line about 9 cm long in the middle of each. Fold the sides of each pancake over the filling then neatly roll up to form a log.
• Pandan leaves are available from South-East Asian food stores.
• Tip for opening fresh coconut is to hit it around the circumference with the back (blunt edge) of a heavy cleaver until it cracks open, drain over a bowl to catch coconut water, then drain coconut water through a fine sieve. Prise coconut flesh from shell.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien.