Today I’m interested to introduce you all with PAAN, which is traditional mouth freshener in India, which is having very beautiful history from the era of kings to recent era, it’s still famous as before. So, let’s have a look to know more about our own yummy paan.
Paan, comes from the word pan in Urdu. According to South and South East Asian tradition pan means which consists of chewing Betel leaf (Piper betle) combined with the areca nut. There are many regional variations.
Paan is chewed as a palate cleanser and a breath freshener. It is also commonly offered to guests and visitors as a sign of hospitality and as “ice breaker” to start conversation.
It also has a symbolic value at ceremonies and cultural events in South and Southeast Asia. Paan makers may use mukhwas or tobacco as an ingredient in their paan fillings.
In India many people are habituate to eat paan daily after their dinner. Many paan are famous like banarasi paan, mumbaiya paan etc. PAAN is a traditional mouth fresher which was used by kings and queens in ancient era, generally it’s a symbol for shayar in India. Now a days in modern marriage one can see counter of pan also to serve their guests, so, it’s new theme in modern society to eat sweet PAAN which is not having tobacco or supari, packed with one stick & cherry.
So, PAAN does not remain as old story, in abroad also shops of Indian are available in few countries in which PAAN is available for their customers. Countries in which paan is used are Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia. Although most types of paan contain areca nuts as a filling, some do not. Other types include what is called sweet paan, where sugar, candied fruit and fennel seeds are used.
Paan is available in many different forms and flavours. The most commonly found include:
• Tobacco (tambaku paan): Betel leaf filled with powdered tobacco with spices.
• Betel nut (paan supari, paan masala or sada paan): Betel leaf filled with a mixture consisting of a coarsely ground or chopped betel nuts and other spices.
• ”Sweet” (meetha paan): Betel leaf with neither tobacco nor areca nuts. The filling is made up primarily of coconut, fruit preserves, and various spices. It is also often served with a maraschino cherry.
• ”Trento” (olarno paan): It is said that it tastes like betel but has a minty after taste.
Eaten along with fresh potatoes, it is served in most Indian restaurants.
There are a variety of betel leaves grown in different parts of India and Bangladesh; the method of preparation also differs from region to region. The delicately flavoured paan from Bengal is known as Desi Mahoba. Maghai and Jagannath are the main paans of Benaras. Paan prepared from small and fragile leaves from south India is known as Chigrlayele. The thicker black paan leaves, the ambadi and Kariyele, are more popular and are chewed with tobacco.
The skilled paan maker is known in North India as a paanwala. Many people believe that their paanwala is the best, considering it an art that takes practice and expert touch.
Paan eating was taken to its zenith of cultural refinement in the pre-partition era in North India, mainly Lucknow, where paan eating became an elaborate cultural custom, and was seen as a ritual of the utmost sophistication. The traditional way of paan making, storing and serving is interesting. The leaves are stored wrapped in a moist, red colored cloth called ‘shaal-baaf’, inside a metal casket called ‘PaanDaani’. The PaanDaani has several lidded compartments, each for storing a different filling or spice.
To serve, a leaf is removed from the wrapping cloth, de-veined, and kattha and lime paste is generously applied on its surface. This is topped with tiny pieces of betel nuts, cardamom saffron, (un)/roasted coconut pieces/powder, cloves, tobacco etc, according to the eater’s personal preferences. The leaf is then folded in a special manner into a triangle, called ‘Gilouree’ and is ready to be eaten. On special occasions, the gilouree is wrapped in delicate silver leaf (vark). To serve, a silver pin is inserted to prevent the gilouree from unfolding, and placed inside a domed casket called ‘Khaas-daan’. Alternatively, the gilouree is sometimes held together by a paper or foil folded into a funnel with the gilouree’s pointed end inserted inside it. Voracious paan eaters do not swallow; instead, they chew it, enjoying its flavours, and then spit it into a spittoon.
In India bananas is famous for banarasi sari & PAN also, where one can see variety of PANS. It’s consisting of betel leaf(nagarvel’s leaf), tobacco, coconut, tuti-futi, gulkand, areca nut & much more, it depends on a person, choice is yours.
One can order PAN according to it’s choice integrands. Price of PAN is depending on shop owner, it can be 10 rupees to 200 also.
PAN is a traditional mouth fresher which was used by kings & queens in ancient era, generally it’s a symbol for shayar in India. Now a days in modern marriage one can see counter of pan also to serve their guests.
So, it’s new theme in modern society to eat sweet PAN which is not having tobacco or supari, packed with one stick & cherry.
So, PAN is not remain as old story, in abroad also shops of Indian are available in few countries in which PAN is available for their customers.
In bollywood there are many famous songs like “khaike pan banaras wala, pan khaye siya hamaro” etc. in Gujarat one can see many PAN shops available by roadside, older shopping places & older areas. People will never leave to eat PAN after their dinner. In gujrat people are meeting their friends at PAN shops, they are spending their time by watching Indian cricket match or chatting for any political issues.
Nothing can beat it in future also, because it is unique one. It’s demand and place will remain in world forever.