The most common dish made with betel leaves is Paan. Contrary to popular belief, paan is not only had in India, but consumed in other countries as well like Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia. Paan is basically a betel leaf stuffed with a betel nut, chunna and other ingredients. It is mostly consumed for its psychoactive effects, the most common variant being Meetha Paan.
The unique flavor of paan can be brought out in many innovative ways. It can be turned into a delicious Paan ice-cream, which is simple and all ingredients are also easily available at the nearest Paan shop!
An excellent way to impress your guests is making Paan shots. These tiny shots made are made with ice cream, betel leaves and gulkand, have the taste of paan but just with a twist on how to eat them.
Betel leaves used in chaat
Betel leaves, used mostly as a mouth-freshener, also lends itself to make Paan ki Chaat, a traditional North Indian favourite that many people recall fondly as one of the most unforgettable experiences of trips to regions like Benaras.
The betel leaves are batter-coated and deep-fried till absolutely crisp. They are then broken into pieces and topped with spice powders, chutneys and curds to make a mind-blowing chaat.
You will be amazed to see that despite the number of other ingredients used, the paan leaves still retain their unique flavour, which is what makes this chaat so exclusive!