Indian Paans to chew at the very first place - A Betel leaf preparation

Main course is often followed by the dessert and usually its end of the story, But in India there are lot of after-meals like various mouthfreshners or Mukhwas,also Paan. Paan is a preparation made by using betel-nut leaf and have different fillings in it which make it flavorsome.The basic Paan variety is made by using betel-nut leaf, Areca nut, kattha,(catechu), slaked lime paste which is not very great in taste but people have habit of having it. Other popular variations of this couldn't be any tastier. Having too much of this could be harmful,so try having without areca nut and sweeter versions.

Betel-leaf is meant to be sacred here. In Western and Southern India it is often given to the guests with some areca nuts and uncooked rice. It is also a part of Hindu marriage tradition.Also there is a tradition to chew Paan leaf after Diwali pooja for being blessed.
Paan is available in every nook and corner at small Paan shops in India,but the versions these shops sell are not the ones which everyone could have,however you may ask for "Meetha Paan" which is delicious everywhere.
People who are skilled in making Paan are called Paanwalas.

Chewing this can have flavour party in your mouth and will paint your tongue and lips Red like Ruby lipstick. Everyone will come to know about the delight you had tonight after dinner.

There are different Paan varieties popular in India,Lets explore few important ones which are must try -:

  • Calcutta Paan - Kolkata is hall of fame for its Paan. Two kinds of betel leaves are present in this region which are "Bangla patta" and "Meetha Patta".Ingredients which go into it are Betel Leaf, Gulkand(Rose marmalade), Mukwaas( Mouthfreshner), sweetened desiccated coconut, cardamom powder, glazed cherries. This is the traditional "Meetha Paan" available everywhere but the right one in Kolkata. Try one and you will be taken away by the love of juices.
Source : firedaily

  • Benarasi Paan - Varanasi (Benaras) is famous for its food culture and Paan is one of the must try here.Ingredients which go into this Paan are Betel leaf, fennel seeds,betel nuts,cardamom, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, dessicated coconut, tuttifruity, menthol powder, camphor and Gulkand.
Source : pmovaranasi

  • Chocolate Paan - Chocolate pan is betel leaves coated with chocolate and fillind it with ingredients that compliments the taste of chocolate and betel leaf,so ingredients in the filling are dark chocolate,kattha(catechu), fresh cream. chuna( Lime paste) and Fennel seeds.
Source : twitter
  • Ice Paan -  Coldest thing ever in your mouth,Its a challenge to eat it and savour at the same time.Simply Delicious,also known as Chuski Paan. It Contains crushed ice and flavours wrapped in betel leaf.
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  • Fire Paan - Before you enjoy Ice paan,Go for this delicacy.It is so spicy and filling look like fire and on the top of the Paan they light fire too.Obviously you have to be brave enough to have this Paan.Paanwala directly inserts that in your mouth.Cloves are inserted into a Paan to give it that fire effect and cooling sensation after the fire is out. This is the recent innovation in the world of Paans and only available at some special places.
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Wonder you had a scumptrous meal with your friends at a restaurant and just outside or few walks away you see a small shop in a corner with people around it. Stop by and have anyone of the above Paan or more flavours like strawberry Paan,Pineapple Paan,Rasmalai Paan and I am sure you wont regret.
Paint it Red

P.S. Eating Paan is cultural habit for Indians so,all of the varieties are not suitable to everyone.The above mentioned varieties are completely harmless.Always go for a sweeter variety rather than regular.