Paan aka betel leaf is mouth freshener from India and neighbouring countries. Its history dates back to at least Ibn Batutah. Paan known with various other names across the continent. It is known as beeda in Hindi and vetrrilai or thambulum in Tamil, thambula in Kannada, killi or tambulam in Telugu, sireh (in Malay), sirih (in Indonasian, suruh (in Javanese, mark (ໝາກ) in Lao, bulath in Sinhalese,buai in Tok Pisin, and foah (in Dhiveli), etc.
Paan can be consumed in various flavours, some prefer simple (sada) paan, some like sweet, some add tobacco, some like choclate, some make rasmalai paan, you name it and you have it. Anyone hailing from subcontinent will immediately relate to paan from their own region. Paan is unique in its own way and owing to its historical and traditional value, it has been referred in numerous songs in Bollywood movies.
Whilst I was growing up, I used to eat sweet paan and is readily available in local shops, and never had the need to make it at home. Now that I have relocated to UK, it is a rarity find paan, hence thought of making it myself and treat my guests, and yes it is an absolute great mouth freshener 🙂
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time : NA
Serving : 2-4
- Paan leaves (4)
- Gulkand- 4 tea spoons
- Katha / Catechu – 1 tea spoon
- Edible Chuna/ Lime / Calcium Carbonate- 1 tea spoon
- Paan Chutni / Sweet Chutni – 2 tea spoons
- Fennel seeds (Can use sugar coated seeds for added flavour) – 10grams
- Cardamom – 4 pieces
- Tutti Frooty – 2 tea spoons
- Grated coconut – 2 tea spoons
- Dry Cherry – 4-6 pieces
- Betel Nuts -finally chopped 1 tea spoon (Optional)
- Toothpick (to hold the wrapping of paan) – 4
Wash the betel leaves and wipe them carefully not to tear them. Cut the stem from leaf (as depicted in picture).
Keep paan on clean plate or cloth and apply chuna on the back side of paan.
Now sprinkle Kattha on top of this, just sprinkle enough to cover the surface. You can dilute kattha with water and apply a layer of kattha on paan. I have used only a little of it, as it could make sweet paan little bitter.
Now its Paan Chutni to be applied on top of this as another layer.
Add one tea spoon gulkand on top of it.
Now add betel nuts, tooti frooty, fennel seeds, desiccated coconut, cardamom on the leaf.
Top it up with Cherry.
Wrap the paan and close it using a toothpick.
Paan is ready to be enjoyed 🙂
- You do not need to add all the suggested ingredients, you can customise as per your own taste.
- Add only a little of Kattha and Chuna, or you may find paan does not taste as you wanted it.
- Remember you have to add ingredients on back side of Paan leaf.
- While wrapping paan, first bring back the left bottom half (where you had cut stem) and bring to centre, then do on right side, now bring down the tip of paan and you will see its all wrapped.