Instead of popular sticky, glutinous rice, I’ve gone golden-brown — brown rice made golden with turmeric and gently rich with coconut. It straddles savory and sweet, is comforting to eat, kind to the belly and is the perfect way to celebrate the new year.
In a perfect world (or Asia) you cook the rice with a few pandan leaves. The botanical name is pandanus amaryllifolius. It also goes by screw pine. Whatever you call it, pandan is child’s fantasy of an herb with a comforting flavor that’s a whisper of vanilla kissed with roses and grass, and a color that’s an absurd neon green.
Pandan is native to Thailand and Malaysia. Some Asian markets stock the leaves in their freezer section, If you find yourself pandanless, fear not, conjure a mental image of a fan of pandan leaves —narrow, long, serrated, fibrous and Wicked Witch green while adding the turmeric, cardamon, rose water and a single drop of vanilla.