Kewra Water: What is it?
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Kewra Water is a transparent, aromatic liquid that is extracted and distilled from pandanus flowers. Also known as Kewda Water or Panadanas Water, this extract bears a close resemblance with rose water. Pandanus – i.e. pandan P. odoratissimus – flowers are used in savory dishes and desserts in Southeast Asia and India.
Origin of Kewra Water
The pandanus tree is native to Australasia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. However, Kewra Water is from Northern India, where it is used as a flavoring. The following coastal areas are known for their rich and aromatic pandanus plantations:
However, over 95 percent of the world’s Kewra flowers are obtained and exported from the Ganjam district, India. It is believed that the pandanus flowers from coastal regions exhibit floral flavors that rivaled inland varieties. Moreover, Kewra Water is also used extensively in the traditional Indian perfumery industry as a functional fragrance. In the Western world, this liquid can be used as a worthy alternative to orange or rose essence. Kewra essence is also much more concentrated than regular essences. And this is why you should be extremely careful when using it. You should either use tiny drops of the extractor dilute with plain water before use.
The pandanus or screwpine tree thrives extensively in swampy environments. It is, however, the male flower that is used for extracting and distilling the aromatic Kewra Water.
Kewra Water and Culinary Uses
This pandanus liquid extract can be used for flavoring meats, desserts, and drinks. But this practice occurs primarily in countries like Bangladesh, India, northern Asia, Southeast Asia, and Pakistan.
What is more, native sweets – such as ras malai, etc. – can be soaked in Kewra Water to enhance their flavors.
The fruity and heady flavor of the pandanus extract also makes it an excellent addition to savory or sweet dishes. Kewra Water is used in the aromatic rice dishes of Kashmiri, Pakistan, and Moghul cuisine.
At times, Kewra Water is sprinkled by hand over rice recipes before they are served. It also combines exceptionally well with other floral liquids like rose water, etc. and used together on recipes.
At other times, however, Kewra Water can be consumed as a health drink.
How to Store Bottled Kewra Water
You can purchase Kewra Water online from any Indian grocery store or eCommerce site. However, if you are careless with it, the flavor of the liquid essence may get lost.
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This is why you should, therefore, store the bottled extract in a cool, dry place. At room temperature, the flavor of Kewra can be preserved for a year. But under refrigeration, it can remain for up to 4 years.
So, make sure the cap of the bottle is closed tightly immediately after use.
Benefits of Kewra Water
- Contains antioxidant properties required for combatting cancer.
- Helps in mental relaxation as the floral fragrance of the extract has a calming effect.
- Enhances skin health by making your skin glow and soft.
- It is potent enough to prevent pimples and acne by getting rid of dirt from your skiin
Small drops of Kewra per time are more than enough to use for anything you have in mind. Excessive usage can cause adverse effects.