Food & Drinks

Discover the hidden joys behind eating a paan

Paan eating is the most delectable experience after a heart-warming meal. The sweetness of paan adds an elixir that makes it a must-have at any Indian function. And we bring you a list of places where you can savour some of the best paans

The sweet panThe sweet pan

After a hearty Indian meal, the only
thing that elevates the whole gastronomic experience is the good ol' paan. And this is what we realized when we stumbled upon this little delight during one of our food escapades. We were amazed for having stayed away from these hearty folds of surprises all our life. How could we? That was the only question running through our minds after having savoured the Magai paan it all its glory, a wonder joy in mini folds.

The next day  we couldn’t stop ourselves from going back to the shop beside Koshy’s to palpitate our taste buds with yet another mouthful of bliss. Thus began our journey with the paan, a sheer pleasure we abstained ourselves from, for a very long time. We realised that the paan wallahs have made their presence at almost every nook and corner of our city. And soon began our hunt of finding that perfect paan wallah in the vicinity of the prime areas in Bangalore. 

The Magai PanThe Magai Pan

Paan in India is a tradition which varies from city to city. It is mainly chewed as a palate cleanser, a breath freshener, and for digestive purposes. It is offered to guests after meals at both personal and social occasions as a sign of hospitality. It also has a symbolic value at ceremonies and cultural events in our country. In ancient times, Empress Noor-e-Jahan discovered that by adding some particular ingredients to the paan and eating it gives a beautiful natural red colour to the lips.

There are many types of paan prepared all over the country but mostly there are  three distinctive types which is found almost everywhere. The paanwallah's customize your paan according to your choice and preferences. The four types of commonly used leaves are Magai, Banaras, Calcutta and Madras. Each leaf has a varied taste and size which is used for different kinds of filling.

Cutting the paan leaves Cutting the paan leaves 

The most popularly used fillings are the sweet (meetha paan) which consists of Betel leaf with either tobacco or areca nuts, the filling is primarily coconut, fruit preserves; rose petal preserves (gulkand) and various spices. The tobacco (tambaku paan) consists of Betel leaf filled with powdered tobacco with spices. The Areca nut (mainly sada paan, paan supari, paan masala,) consists of Betel leaf filled with a mixture of coarsely ground or chopped areca nuts and other spices.

But apart from these there's also a variety of combination's which you can try like the Ice Paan Saada, Quiwam Saada, Madras Zarda, Banaras Zarda, Maghai Gold and Navratan. “The most popular among all these varieties is the Magai paan,” says Ravi, the paan wallah outside Koshys, who has been making paan for the last fifty years now.

Gulab Chand Singh Magai Paan shop next to Koshy'sGulab Chand Singh Magai Paan shop next to Koshy's

If you’re wondering what goes inside a paan to give it all the tasty tangles then we bring you a low down on it. 

“In a maghai meetha we use maghai betel leaf, chuna, katha, gulkand, kesar supari, khajoor, paan flavouring material and varq. And in a Banaras Zarda we use Banaras betel leaf, slaked lime, katha, beetle nut, flavouring material, Heera Panna paan masala, soaked areca nut and clove. We also use special paan chutney called Meenakshi for most of the paans,” says Deep Narayan, paan wallah from Frazer town.

These are few of the places where you can treat yourself:
1)Empire Maghai Pan Shop
36, Church Street.
2)Gulab Chand Singh Magai Paan Store 39, St Mark’s Road, next to Koshy’s.
3)Maghai Pan Shop 40, Brigade Road, next to Victory Dry Cleaners
4)Sri Calcutta Paan House
7, AM Lane, Chikpet Cross Road, Chikpet     
5)Paan Wallah
, The Chancery Hotel, 10/6, Lavelle Road, Bangalore.

Tags: paan wallah, paan in banaglore, paan shops in bangalore, famous paan shops, magai paan

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