Keora Plant (Pandanus odoratissimus)The Kewra plant grows wild along the east coast of India. The plants producing the best floral bouquet are grown in Ganjam district of South Orrisa.It should be noted that Rampe plant (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb) is different from Kewra plant. The fragrant leaves of Rampe plant (Pandan Patta) are used to flavor rice and curries.Kewra plant is dioecious, with male and female flowers produced on different plants.
In Sanskrit, the plant is called Ketaki. The male plants are called 'Ketaki Viphala', and the female plants and called 'Swarana Ketaki'.The male plant - flower Only the flowers of the male plant are harvested to extract the floral bouquet to produce Kewra. The flower bouquet is sweet similar to rose flowers, and fruity. The Kewra plant grows up to 18 feet tall. The plants flower three times a year (Summer, Monsoon, and Winter). 60% of the flowers grow during monsoon season (July-September), and posses the best floral bouquet. 30% of the flowers grow during summer (May-June), and remaining 10% grow during winter (October-November).
The creamy white color flowers are encased in long spikes about one foot long. On average, one mature plant can produce about 35 flower spikes.The female plant - flowerThe flower of female plant has no floral bouquet. It is left to develop into fruit.The fruitThe female plant bears a fruit that looks like a pineapple. When ripe, the fruit develops a very mild bouquet.
The fruit is edible.The leaves have no fragrance, they are not edible. The leaves are fibrous and used to weave baskets and mats.The stem and roots have no fragrance and are not edible. The stem and roots are fibrous and used to as a tie for basket and mat making. They are also cut about 8" long pieces, one end is pounded to make it into a coarse brush.
The flavouring derived from a variety of pandan, Pandanus fascicularis. Used in India, it is also called kewda essence and is from the male inflorescence of the plant. It is strongly floral. Use an eye-dropper to add a drop at a time in case too much goes in and ruins the dish. Concentrated oil made from pandanus flowers used to flavor desserts and beverages in Indian cuisine.Widely used in desserts and beverages.
It adds a good aroma, when added to vermicelli Kheer or custards.·Kewra essence, made from kewra flowers, is used for flavouring sweets in sugar syrup, like petha (candied white pumpkin), Ras Malai (cream cheese cooked in double cream). Itr kewra, a stronger concentrate than ruh kewra, is used in dry sweets like barfi (milk toffee) and gajar halwa (grated carrot pudding). Kewra is also used to perfume pulaos. Pan Masala and Gutka are the largest consumer of Indian attars. The reason for using it is its extraordinary tenacity along with characteristic to withstand with tobacco note.
Kewra Ruh (Oil) this is 100% pure oil extracted from male Kewra flowers. It takes about 1,000 flowers to produce one ounce of Kewra Ruh. In Ayurveda, the oil is used as a stimulant, and to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Kewra Attar (Perfume) the Kewra flowers are distillated into sandalwood oil. Kewra Attar has about 3% to 5% Kewra oil, and the remainder is Sandalwood oil. Normally, it is specified in terms of number of flower spikes (10,000 to 15,000) per pound of sandalwood oil. This is the most popular perfume used in India. It is applied behind ears, and used to scent clothes. The perfume is also added to various cosmetics.Kewra Jal (Hydrosol)The fragrant hydrosol may be either a primary product from low quality flowers collected during hot summer. It may be a secondary product from Kewra Ruh or Attar production. Kewra Jal is also called Kewra water. Kewra Jal is about 0.02% of Kewra oil. 24 flowers can produce one pound of primary hydrosol.