Saturday, August 6, 2011

Anatomy of a Sweet or Meetha Paan !

As per Wikipedia - Paan, or pān is an Southeast Asian tradition of chewing betel leaf with Supari (or Areca Nut) and lime paste, and katha (or kaatha) brown powder paste, with many regional and local variations. Paan is normally chewed as a palate cleanser, a breath freshener, and has been found useful for digestive purposes.  

Paan is a symbolic end of meal intake at most food events & ceremonies in India and southeast Asia. Paan is prepared in various ways like plain (or sada), sweet or (Meetha) paan, where sugar, candied fruit and multicolored, sweetened, candy-like fennel seeds are used. Another very important ingredients of Pan is Gulkand, a weekend flavorful preserve made from rose petals. You can check the Recipe shared at MyCreativeFlavors here.

Today we will make my fvt version "Meetha or Sweet Paan". As you'd see I've not used strict ingredients like lime paste/katha/meethi chutney - but we would use many interesting & commonly available ingredients to prepare our Paan.

Paan leaves are easily available in most Indian Grocery stores, if not - you can find them at a Paan Corner at the nearest India Street in your town. I Picked up a Pack of 6 leaves for $3 only at my recent visit to Jersey City :)

Ingredients: -
(Makes 4 Meetha Paans)
4 Pan Leaves
Gulkand or Rose preserve - 4 Tsp
Areca nut or Supari Mix - 4 Tsp
Dry Roasted Fennel seeds or Saunf - 4 Tsp
Coconut Powder - 2 Tsp
Honey - 1 Tsp
Golden Raisins - 8
Cloves - 4
Cardamom Pods - 4

Method: -
Thoroughly wash the Paan leaf under running water & turn it upside down on a flat surface.
Slightly trim the leaf at the end to ensure that only soft part is used & Paan can be sealed easily later.
As we are not using lime paste or meethi chutney we will use a few drops of honey & spread around.

Now add 1 tsp of roasted fennel seeds (you can roast normal fennel seeds on your griddle at low heat for 5-6 minutes, helps develop the flavors).  Add 1 caradamom pod, a couple of raisins & 1 tsp of supari mix.

Evenly Spread 1/2 Tsp of coconut powder at top of all the ingredients.

Now the best bit,
Drop a liberal dose of Gulkand in the middle (at least 1 Tsp).
Yumm.. Yumm... I ate 2 Tsps in the process, he he... never mind !!!
We will start assembling our Paan now.
As shown below lift one end of the leaf & fold it towards center of the leaf.
Now lift the opposite end & bring it on top of previous fold , press with a finger as you bring the third end.
Once you have all the ends neatly folded we would have a triangular shape.
Time to seal the deal with a clove in the middle.

There are many ways of closing the leaf, professionals roll it , twist it,  bend it.....
But this is the way I do it at home.

Feel free to play with the ingredients, I normally add a double shot of Gulkand & some extra fennel.

Now wait to finish your dinner, and as soon as you are done,
Have a glass of water, Open your mouth wide, and Slide in the Beauty, start Chewing !!!!!!
As lovely as the process of eating it is - as described above :)
You can feel the juices flow & flavors burst in your mouth,
Your Palate feels refreshed & reverberating with freshness of flavors..

No other food can give you this experience that Paan gives you.
If you make it ahead of your dinner make sure to keep it refrigerated.
This Royal treat is surely gonna make your day.

Take Care & Enjoy
Hugs... Sonia


Kalpana Sareesh said...

Wonderful awesome clicks n pics.. i love sweet pan n was not aware of the xact ingredients .. superb.. let me for sure try it..

Three-Cookies said...

Very unusual and interesting dessert, I have never tried anything like this. I absolutely love Indian sweets and am very curious about this one

Priya's Feast said...

Wow..Wht a stepwise pictures for maing pan..Wish to bite the crunchy pack of sweet pan..

notyet100 said...

Thanks for the tutorial,

Priya Sreeram said...

looks superb- am a huge fan of this meetha pan and this one has me hooked

A Spoonful of Yumm said...

looks yummy ! i love meetha paan

Shobha said...

Lovely presentation..

Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet said...

What a wonderful and interesting combination! Love it- So pretty :)Beautiful step by step pics as always, Sonia.



Rinku Naveen said...

Very well presented. Never seen making it before. Lovely clicks!

Prathima Rao said...

Splendid cliks dear!!!!
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

jayasree said...

Superb presentation...I want to have it right now. I love sweet paan.

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Wow, what a fun and informative post. I just learned alot just by reading the step by step instructions. You always have the best pics and this one is no exception. Love it

natalie said...

Wow, that paan looks amazing. I've had it at Aunties' homes before, but never made it myself. Now you've got me inspired! :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, those bundles are intriguing! I'd love to taste those.



Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

Wow, how awesome are these little bundles! So cute!

Vidhya said...

looks awesome and tempting.

Kiran @ said...

Beautiful photos and narration Sonia! My first taste of meetha paan or any paan, was 1 year ago. Believe it! Hahaha!!!

Ms.Chitchat said...

Enjoyed browsing ur space and ur interesting recipes. Happy to follow u :)


Hind said...

What an amazing Pan!!!I never thought of making it at home. Your step by step instructions make even complicated recipes easier.
All clicks are superb!!!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

I have already commented on this post but just wanted to drop by again and say how much I love the new look. It is great!

kankana said...

kya baat hai! That's an interesting post. I like metha paan but very very rarely do i eat it. Very nicely explained and presented!

pushpa said...

what a lovely sweet pan with different ingrediants. nice photos

Sandy said...

Hi, it looks very nice. I have also tried to create something similar and I would like to use this link so more people would know about Paan.

personal history photography said...

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Wholesale Green coffee bean said...

Great post today. An interesting read for any person who would agree with your views. Long may these posts continue.Wholesale Green coffee bean

Anonymous said...

Iv had this you can add fresh coconut mixed with honey and and add to the pan or coconut cubes mixed in honey iv made it this way it is delicious����

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