Apr 20, 2012

Paan Shot

                            A great meal is never complete without savoring the aromatic concoction of flavors of clove, cardamom, gulkand, peppermint enveloped in green leaf, called as Paan. Usually eaten at the end of a meal, it is understood to help in digestion and can be a substitute for a dessert.

                In India, it is very common to see various small roadside-stalls, named Paan Bhandar or Paan Stall. These small shops sell Paan- the most eaten chewing material as mouth freshener. These shops are also center point of meeting of many Paan lovers, who love to discuss over various local and national issues, while relishing the wonderful aromatic taste of Paan.

What is a Paan???
A Paan is a leaf from a creeper called the Paan creepers, grown in hot and humid climate but under the shade so that direct sunlight does not burn the leaves. These different types of Paan leaves are made into many different varieties of Paan by adding various different ingredients and then folding into triangular shaped Bidas.
Paan has various forms and flavours. The most commonly found include; sada paan - betel leaf filled with a mixture of a coarsely ground or chopped areca nuts and other spices; and meetha paan - betel leaf with neither tobacco nor areca nuts. The filling is made up primarily of coconut, fruit preserves, rose petal preserve (gulkand) and various spices. It is also often served with a maraschino cherry. 

The delicately flavoured paan from Bengal is known as deshi mahoba. Maghai and Jagannath are the main paans of Benaras whereas paan prepared from small and fragile leaves from South India is known as chigrlayele. 

                   All varieties of preparations are made in all three types of paans i.e., Kalkatta, Banarasi and Maghai . Kalkatta paan is dark green in colour, compared to Banarasi paan which is lighter green and Maghai is available in both shades but it's much smaller in size. The Maghai leaf is soft and melts in the mouth and it leaves no resha (strands) in the teeth.

You can even get a gold paan, silver paan, chocolate paan, marriage special paan! The cheapest costs Rs. 5 and the costliest is the marriage special one at Rs. 1500/- !!!

My favorite pan is Maghai pan, two paans filled with gulkand, coconut,mint and other goodies. This one melts complete in your mouth leaving behind good aroma and flavor in your mouth.

But what if you could get the same pleasure without the need to chew leaves...
What if you could drink the pan... Ya there is no error in the statement.. How about Paan Shot...
Got the Idea while I was browsing net and came across digestif paan shot served in Punjab Grill... Pictures looked very tempting and idea of Paan Shot was interesting. They serve two versions: alcholic with rum and non alcoholic... This one is non alcholic version.. But you could always spike your drink with rum/ vodka in proportions you like!!!!!!

  • 4 maghai paan leaves
  • 2 tsp gulkand
  • 1 tsp mint coated fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp desiccated coconut
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 scoop ice cream
  • 2 tbsp water
Blend paan, gulkand, fennel,cardamom, coconut and water in blender till you get coarse paste. Add ice cream and give it quick pulse to mix all together.
Cool in fridge for 30 mins and serve with cherry..
Serves 2

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