Pandan Coconut Rice and Friendship

by Spicie Foodie on September 19, 2011

“True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island..to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.” Baltasar Gracian

Pandan; Pandan leaves; coconut; coconut milk; rice; vegan; Vegetarian; healthy; Asian; quick; recipe; Spicie FoodieWhen I was a little girl and young adult I was very shy. So shy that I would hide behind my mother or under the bed when strangers stopped by. Though shy for some reason I’ve never had a problem making friends. Since I was a little girl I’ve believed that people should be judged as individuals and not on their popularity, color or background, nor lack of or abundance of wealth . I never cared if a kid in school was a “nerd” or “popular” I talked to and was friends with everyone. My logic has always been treat others as you would want others to treat you, give everyone a chance. The important thing to me was and is that the person be like minded and have a positive aura.

Pandan; Pandan leaves; coconut; coconut milk; rice; vegan; Vegetarian; healthy; Asian; quick; recipe; Spicie FoodieIn my life time I have been blessed to have had less than a handful of good and true friends. You know friends that stick with you no matter what, ones that understand if you haven’t been in contact for a while and will pick up right were you left off. All of us will have people we consider friends that come and go. But to find a true friend one of a lifetime is truly a blessing. I can proudly say that I have 2 of those in my life right now. My husband is one of them, cheesy it may sound but wholeheartedly it is the truth. In times as hard as this and everything that has been going on, I know I can count on him to keep me from failing or pick me up when I most need it.
Pandan; Pandan leaves; coconut; coconut milk; rice; vegan; Vegetarian; healthy; Asian; quick; recipe; Spicie FoodieOften times I read fellow bloggers words of praise for all the new friends they’ve made through blogging. Though the idea of one person being in one continent and the other in a far off one is no longer a rare thing, it is still a pretty neat thing to experience and see that friendship form. I’ve gotten to know so many talented and amazing people because of this little food blog of mine. But I’ve been lucky to form a few good friendships because of blogging. One of those friendships has been with Maya, from Foodiva’s Kitchen. Maya has been a wonderful friend, reaching out to me in one of my most fragile times. She is someone I now can proudly call a friend. She is someone that always makes me laugh, doesn’t take her self too seriously, is intelligent and super talented. Definitely someone you want to surround yourself with. She is kind and giving, she gives from the heart.

“Friendship without self interest is one of the rare and beautiful things in life.”- James Francis Byrnes
Spicie FoodieMaya hasn’t only given me the gift of friendship but has also sent me a couple of gifts. Friday I received a package from Maya, Pandan leaves! You may remember that scrumptious guest post she did for me, “Pandan-Wrapped Chicken”. I mentioned that I was going to hunt for Pandan leaves to try out her recipe but instead Maya sent me fresh Pandan leaves all the way from Brunei. She is just too kind and sweet. Don’t get me wrong it is not the material gifts that she has given me that have made me consider her a friend or to write this. For me the best gifts are not material but words, support, kindness and friendship. Maya from the bottom of my heart thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me, for being a great friend. Hugs and tickles! Lol!

Pandan; Pandan leaves; coconut; coconut milk; rice; vegan; Vegetarian; healthy; Asian; quick; recipe; Spicie FoodieSo far I’ve made a couple of things with the Pandan leaves and let me tell you it is simply an ingredient you must try. The scent is hard to describe but one you’ll want to keep smelling. The taste is subtle but one of a kind. Since Maya is the expert I suggest you read her post all about Pandan leaves. This Pandan Coconut Rice was a hit and something to keep in the rotation. I served it alongside broiled salmon that was marinated in a honey soy and pandan marinade. Okay enough talking  writing let’s get to the recipe.

5.0 from 7 reviews
Pandan Coconut Rice (vegan)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An exotic vegan rice recipe. Perfect for turning boring steamed rice into a lively side dish.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 2-3
  • 2 cup long grain rice
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 11/4 cup water
  • 1.5 pandan leaves, tied
  • pinch salt
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan/pot, give it a stir. Leave uncovered under medium high heat. Once it starts to bubble turn heat to low, cover and simmer until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is soft and cooked through. If need be add a tablespoon at a time of liquid until cooked through.
  2. Once cooked remove lid and gently fluff, then set aside for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Officially autumn begins in a few days and look what I’ve been cooking. Don’t worry I’ve already restocked my pumpkin squash loot. Many recipes coming soon.
Pumpkins; Squash; Autumn; Hokkaido Squash; Curry Squash; Curry Pumpkin; White Patty Pan; Butternut Squash; Spicie Foodie


Who is your most cherished friend? I hope you share with us in the comments below.


Other Pandan recipes:
Pandan and Honey Melon Ice Cream, by Foodiva’s Kitchen
- Many Pandan recipes by Adora’s Box
- More Panan Recipes, by Rasa Malaysia
Coconut, Black-Eyed Pea, Pepper & Pandan Rice: a Spicy M’Baazi Mash Up  by Tasty Trix

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” Muhammad Ali

Don’t forget to check out The Ardent Epicures Coobook giveaway, Moonfish in Chili Lemon Sauce and a Giveaway

in Asian,Gluten Free,Grains/Rice,Vegan/Vegetarian

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nava Krishnan September 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

You know pandan leaves grows in abundant in my garden, it just multiples and plenty out there. Wish I can sent some over to you from Malaysia but it just won’t be that fresh anymore. You recipe reminds me of the rice we cook for our Nasi Lemak, lovely and so appetizing.


2 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Hi Nava, That is so sweet of you to think of me:) It is great that you have fresh Pandan growing in your garden and I bet you make some spectacular dishes with it. Thank you!


3 Patty September 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Beautiful sentiments Nancy, I really enjoyed your post. I’m also curious about the recipe which I would love to try. Gorgeous photos, everything always looks beautiful here;-). Enjoy your week!


4 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Hi Patty, Thank you for reading it :) I think you would love this rice dish. Thanks sweetie you too enjoy your week.


5 Maya September 19, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Gosh, so that’s how the leaves look like now…I’ve missed them and so glad they finally made it to their destination! LOL. It’s really odd to see these pandan leaves that used to grow in my garden now propped up on your windowsill (oh, and that girly card too!). Love what you’ve done here using the leaf to flavor your coconut rice, and I’m really looking forward to other recipes using pandan from you.

As for the friendship part, thank you for opening your heart and letting me share some aspects of your life away from this blog. I DO know the value of true friendships for I am blessed to have my closest friends around in my life for the last 3-4 decades (oh God, that sounds bad…I’m only 27, really!). Not sure if I’ll live another 3-4 decades, but if I do, I sure hope you’ll still be around as my friend then too *winks*.


6 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Hi Maya, Hehe yeah from your garden on a plane, to my windowsill, then my fridge then my tummy:) Thanks for approving and I can wait to keep experimenting. I know that you DO know the value of true friendship, it shows:) Wow how lucky for you to have those friends for that long. Oh Maya I thought you were only 25, wink wink, you don’t look a day over 25:) Me too I hope to be one of those friends. Think of the stories we’ll be able to tell when we are old, wrinkly and grey haired. Shhhh don’t tell anyone I already have grey hair, haha!! wah :(


7 Maya September 20, 2011 at 12:13 AM

At least we’re not yet wrinkly…we should really count our blessings! LOL.


8 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM

That’s true:) I mean we are only in our early 20s right so it’s much to early for wrinkles.


9 Nishi September 19, 2011 at 1:05 PM

That is such a lovely post Nancy. It was so touching that I have tears in my eyes. The recipes and the photographs are just great as usual.That shot of the butter nut squash is just too good :)


10 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Hi Nishi, Thank you and it makes me feel great that you not only took the time to read the full post but that you were touched by it. I’ll be sharing some butternut squash recipes soon:)


11 Susie September 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

What a great post! We are all fortunate for the friends that touch our lives in many different ways. The coconut rice looks fantastic.


12 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Thank you Susie:)


13 Candace September 19, 2011 at 2:43 PM

What a beautiful, heartfelt post! The coconut rice looks fantastic!


14 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Thank you Candace:)


15 Gina September 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I’m am the fortunate one for having read this. I agree with you 100% and couldn’t have said it better. Your childhood reminds me so much of my older daughter. I’m sure it isn’t a coincidence we’ve met online, hopefully in real life one day too. That was so sweet of Maya, I want some leave, I’m going to go have a word with her, lol.


16 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Hi Gina, You are such a sweetie:) Really? Perhaps it is no coincidence. I also really hope to meet you in person one day. Haha, yeah go place your order;)


17 Maya September 20, 2011 at 12:16 AM

LOL, Gina…my excuse is that I haven’t yet received your order for how many bunches of pandan leaves you want! OMG, I don’t want to be the Pandan Queen, I really don’t.


18 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Lol :)


19 Ruby September 19, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Lovely post and recipe – my 5 year-old son asked me just the other day if we could put coconut in rice. So it’s been on my to-do list and you’ve just moved it up to the top. And to answer your question, my dearest friend is a Brazilian woman who was an exchange student in France the same year I was. Her host family lived next door to mine and we would each sit in our bedrooms and chat through our open windows, sharing the emotional highs and lows of living away from our families and experiencing a new culture. Since that year, in 1988, we have seen each other only once. We exchange emails maybe once a year and recently we have skyped a few times, but we don’t need to be in touch to know that we’re deeply connected. The first time we skyped, we just saw each other on the screen and burst into tears. It was magic, as true friendship always is.


20 Spicie Foodie September 19, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Hi Ruby, Wow now that is one deeply connected and magical friendship. Thank you for sharing your story Ruby:) You are both very lucky to have found each other. I hope your little boy enjoys this rice, do let me know.


21 Laura @ Family Spice September 19, 2011 at 5:58 PM

What a sweet post! I have to say that I never thought I’d make friends when I started blogging, but it’s true. You “meet” the greatest people in this foodie world, including yourself, Nancy! I’ve never heard of or seen pandan leaves. Now I have to do some research. Persian foods and spices? That I know!


22 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Laura, You are so sweet and thank you:) Yes definitely look into some Pandan leaves, you’ll love them.


23 Trix September 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Including my husband, I have 3 friends like that. I know just what you mean. : ) And I agree – even though she is on another continent, Maya is really one of the sweetest people around, it just shows through. I made a comment similar to yours I think and guess what? She sent me some pandan too! Mine just came, and unlike you I have been too indecisive to make anything yet. It smells SOOOOO good. I like this coconut pandan rice you have made with it, it must smell amazing.


24 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Hi Trixie, You are indeed lucky too have those 3 people in your life. Maya really is a great woman and we are all blessed for having met her. That was so kind of her to also send you some Pandan:) I’m sure you will make something fabulous with them, looking forward to it.


25 Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen September 21, 2011 at 1:21 AM

Trix’s pandan leaves arrived later because she lives farther away and the US sniffer dogs are a bit more thorough in their inspection of leaves coming through the mail! Plus, I paid her to say all those nice things about me…(LOL,okay I did not). Glad you ladies are inspired by pandan, I want to see more recipes!


26 Spicie Foodie September 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Haha Maya:) Thank godness for no sniffer dogs here, otherwise I think many packages wouldn’t even make it. Okay Maya more recipes coming:)


27 Vicki Bensinger September 19, 2011 at 7:03 PM

What a nice post and so wonderful to have special friends like that. Really good friends I think are hard to come by. Not just anyone can fit that bill. I have many acquaintances but my dearest friend that I went to college with is no longer living. She was tragically killed about 10 years ago by a drunk driver leaving 2 small children behind. Now both girls are grown and beautiful. Although I don’t live close to them we are facebook friends and I can see how they are doing from day to day.

I don’t feel that I’ve found a replacement but I do have lots of people that I share time with and laugh. Cherish your friendship. Not to sound depressing but, you never know when they might be taken from you.

I’ll be sure to check out the info on Pandon and Foodiva’s Kitchen. Lovely post!


28 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Hi Vicki, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. I believe you don’t have to find a replacement but it is great that you have people to share and laugh with. Your advise is so wise and yes we do all need to cherish our friendships. Thank you so much for sharing your story.


29 Liz September 19, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Oh such a nice post! Maya is a sweetheart! Such a lovely, genuine lady. So glad you two have become such good friends.

PS…you rice looks delish!


30 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Thank you Lizziy and yes she is:)


31 Sandra September 19, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Wow what a great post..as I am reading how you were as a kid I can 100% relate, because sometimes I am like that too even now as a adult. Your dish sound very tasty, with all the flavors that you combined..
And how nice of Maya to comfort you with such a great gift. She is sweet, sweet soul just like you!


32 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Hi Sandra, Thank you sweetie:)


33 Christine September 20, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Great post. I always enjoy reading your post. Great job!


34 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Thank you Christine!


35 Madison Chloe September 20, 2011 at 4:56 AM

I think there is always a kismet among us, the internet, the foodie and culinary world, photography can be a great way to come together in one common interest. Fabulous photos.


36 Beth Michelle September 20, 2011 at 6:05 AM

Beautiful post! I really enjoyed reading it. Your photos are lovely and this dish sounds wonderful!


37 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Thank you Beth:)


38 Elin September 20, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Nancy…that rice looks so good and yea we used pandan leaves very often in our Asian cooking..this coconut rice is staple food ( breakfast food) for many living in Malaysia . We eat it with spicy anchovies – Nasi Lemak is the name of the rice :) Broiled salmon ! you have just given me a healthier version :) I shall try it with salmon…my favorite fish !

Have a nice day,


39 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Hi Elin, Oh that sounds so yummy for breakfast! I’ll have to look it up, thanks for telling me about it. Thanks and you too:)


40 Ann September 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM

What a beautiful post and I’m so glad you have such a good friend in FoodDiva…she’s awesome!


41 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Hi Ann, Thank you so much :)


42 Saji September 20, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Lovely post!!! First time at your place and already felll in love with…


43 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Thank you Saji:) Welcome and please do stop by any time!


44 Cristina September 20, 2011 at 2:38 PM

You really have the most beautiful photogray…I love your lighting. Congratulations on your book – I heard about it reading Alisha’s Ardent Epicure. :)


45 Cristina September 20, 2011 at 2:39 PM

I’m sorry about the typo…it should be “beautiful photography” …


46 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 5:40 PM

No problem :)


47 Spicie Foodie September 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Hi Cristina, Thank you so much :)


48 Giulietta | Alterkitchen September 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Your pictures are awesome… and the rice, too ;)


49 Spicie Foodie September 21, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Thanks Giulietta:)


50 Sarah-Jane September 20, 2011 at 8:35 PM

I’ve been acquainted with some wonderful people through blogging. Without blogging our paths would never have crossed. It shows that there are may caring and wonderful people out there. Yet, barely knowing each other – the support network is so astonishingly vast.

Lovely photos btw and I hope you enjoy your pandan leaves. Thank you for sharing them with us !


51 Spicie Foodie September 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Hi Sarah-Jane, You’ve said it perfectly. I’m always in awe of our community. Thank you :)


52 anna September 21, 2011 at 12:26 AM

aw what a great gift! i am always amazed by the kind things people do. this rice looks wonderful!


53 Spicie Foodie September 21, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Thanks Anna, Yes pretty amazing people in the community.


54 kita September 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

How awesome is it to have such great friends! I think should all be so lucky as to know how fortunate we are. I loved this post.


55 Spicie Foodie September 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Hi Kita, Yes we all really should count our blessings more often. Thank you and glad to hear it :)


56 Manu September 22, 2011 at 4:23 AM

I have never tasted pandan leaves but have seen them in a couple of shops around here! :-) How sweet of Maya to send them to you, she really is a special person! :-)))

I too have a few good good friends, but they all live so far away… sigh! And I miss them so much! The internet makes things a bit easier, but still, sometimes I wish we could meet and go have a coffee together… for real! SIGH


57 Spicie Foodie September 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Hi Manu, You should give them a try. Maya is the sweetest. I know what you mean, being away from home is so hard. But at least with the internet we can communicate better.


58 Tiffany September 22, 2011 at 10:18 AM

LOVED this post! I LIVE for my friends and place them at the center of my Universe. Funny enough, I was a lot like you as a kid… super shy, etc. There’s a really great book called The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron. I recommend it! Perhaps you can read it with a nice big bowl of this coconut rice! :D


59 Spicie Foodie September 22, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Hi Tiffany, That’s great for you:) Thanks for the recommendation and I will definitely look it up.


60 Magic of Spice September 22, 2011 at 8:19 PM

What a lovely post and such a wonderful thing for Maya to do…you are both amazing ladies! Oh, and love the rice :)


61 Spicie Foodie September 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Thank you Alisha, but you know you are a pretty amazing lady yourself:)


62 Joanna @ Chic&Gorgeous Treats September 22, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Wow! Your pandan coconut rice is to perfection. It’s nice seeing our Malaysian style of coconut and pandan rice inspired your post. This goes well with curry, rendang (stew in curry) or even our classic nasi lemak with sambal. I’m so glad I stopped by and comment. No longer a quiet reader now. Like Nava said, wish I could send you some pandan leaves too. There is abundance of them in my mom’s herb garden. Can’t wait to check out your other posts. Till then, have a great weekend ahead! Cheers, Jo


63 Spicie Foodie September 23, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Hi Jo, Thanks for the tip and I will have to try it with rendang, yummy! Thank you for stopping by and for leaving your first comment:) Thank you so much for the thought, that is so kind of you. You too have a great weekend and I look forward to visiting your blog as well.


64 The Travelling Chopsticks September 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I stumbled upon your website through foodbuzz, and just wanted to drop you a note and say how much this post touched me!! Funnily enough I am an expat in your country Mexico, and in fact have been an expat my entire life – and your words really hit home to me in regards to friendship and true friends! What a lovely blog you have, and I will be following you closely :)


65 Spicie Foodie September 24, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Hi, Wow really? I hope you are liking Mexico:) Thank you and I am so glad to hear that you were touched and could relate to this post. I too have been an expat all my life, wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you around:)


66 Jill @ MadAboutMacarons September 23, 2011 at 5:55 PM

I really enjoyed your post and realise that what you say is so, so true. We are totally blessed to have friends that mean something – although few – mean so much. I loved your writing and seeing these pandan leaves in the package fresh from the post and transforming them into this perfumed, delicious rice – makes you think about the wonderful moments like this. True friends to me are like you – the ones who can understand if you haven’t been in touch one or the other but can pick up where you left off. And yes, my real best friend is my husband, too – however slushy. He’s one of the few people who can tell me off when I need it! What a lovely post. Bon weekend. Jill xo


67 Spicie Foodie September 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Hi Jill, Thank you so much. It’s so great to see that you can relate and agree with my feelings. We are lucky to have such great husbands and best friends all in one package:) Toi assui, bon weekend!


68 Jill @ MadAboutMacarons September 23, 2011 at 5:58 PM

I really enjoyed your post and realise that what you say is so, so true. We are totally blessed to have friends that mean something – although few – mean so much. I loved your writing and seeing these pandan leaves in the package fresh from the post and transforming them into this perfumed, delicious rice – makes you think about the wonderful moments like this. True friends to me are just what you say – the ones who can understand if you haven’t been in touch one or the other but can pick up where you left off. And yes, my real best friend is my husband, too – however slushy. He’s also one of the few people who can tell me off when I need it! What a lovely post. Bon weekend. Jill xo


69 C&T October 24, 2011 at 5:14 PM

So beautiful …..:). Friends are like diamonds…:)
First time here and as it looks like….I am staying :).



70 Spicie Foodie October 25, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Thank you :) Glad to have you and do hope to see you around.


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