Banarasi Paan with Bananivista

Freshen Up Your Mouth With A Banarasi Paan

 

Meetha paan

Meetha paan

 

“Khayke Paan Banaras Wala khul jaye band akal ka taala”, who can forget Amitabh Bachchan’s song from the movie Don. Yes, if you are in Varanasi, Banarasi paan is a must try. It is undoubtedly the most popular variety of Paan in India. Each and every gali (road) has its own Banarasi Paan shop where one can feel the ancient tradition of serving Paan.

 

Anushka n Shahrukh relishing Banarasi Paan

Anushka n Shahrukh relishing Banarasi Paan

 

History of paan goes back to nearly 2500 years ago. It is said that Queen Noor Jahan discovered that adding certain ingredients in the Paan leaf (betel leaf) and eating it gives natural red colour to her lips. Even today many women get a Paan from Banarasi Paan wala to substitute it with lipstick.

 

Just have one

Just have one

 

Why Paan eater loves Banarasi Paan?

The popularity of Banarasi Paan lies in the smooth texture of the leaves which is of pale yellowish green colour. Go to any Banarasi Paan wala in Varanasi and try it, you will feel the softness of leaves which melts in the mouth. It tastes less bitter than Calcutta paan or the other varieties available in India. Here paan wala will always put the ingredients inside the paan in front of you. You can never get a stale Paan here. Even while serving they follow the Nawabi style- with the left hand touching the elbow of the right hand to serve.

 

What is inside a Banarasi Paan

 

yummy paan

yummy paan

 

Like all the other varieties of Paan popular in India, Banarasi Paan is stuffed with Katha (Catechu), Chuna (Pickeling lime), supari (Arcea nut) and choice of your filling of tobacco or Masala. But a Banarasi Paan Wala does hard labour before serving you their special Paan. Handmade Katha is the specialty here. Katha is dipped into water and milk for several days which is then it boiled and dried. This process makes the colour brighter. A similar process is followed to pickle the Chuna (limestones) which removes the heat from the Chuna.

 

Muh meetha kar le!

Muh meetha kar le!

 

Ingredients of the most popular Meetha (Sweet) Paan

  • Paan leaves
  • Katha
  • Chuna
  • Saunf (Fennel)
  • Supari with silver warq
  • Sugar coated colours
  • Tiny amount of Nutmeg powder
  • Clove powder
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Grated dry coconut
  • Tutti Fruity
  • Dry dates
  • Gulkand

 

Popular Paan Shop

 

Paan shop in Varanasi

Paan shop in Varanasi

 

If you are in Varanasi you can freshen up your mouth by trying the Paan at Ramchandra Chaurasia Tambul Bhandar at Chowk, Keshav Paan Bhandar at Lanka, Banaras Paan Store at Prahlad Gate or Gopalji Paan Wala, Bhelupur. These stores are also famous for their variety of innovative Paans.

 

5 Types of Banarasi Paan you must try when you are in Varanasi

 

Banarasi kesar paan

Banarasi kesar paan

 

  • Chocolate Paan
  • Ice Cream Paan
  • Banarasi Navratan Paan
  • Kesar mix Paan
  • Hajma Paachak Paan

So take a dip in river Ganga at Varanasi Ghat, enjoy the Kachori and jalebi and digest all with a meetha paan.

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