A Paan-tastic twist

Amrita Prasad
Friday, 7 September 2018

Restaurants across the country have taken a fancy to betel leaves and are infusing paan in cocktails, mocktails and desserts. Amrita Prasad tells you about a few places in the city that have been experimenting with it.

DRINK THE PAAN  
While you may love your good ol’ mocktails like Virgin Mojito, Apple Lady, Blue Shoe, an innovative mocktail — Liquid Paan — served at 1 BHK Superbar, Baner, might catch your attention.  
Bartenders Girish Singh and Uttam Shaw from 1 BHK Superbar say that it is not just fashionable, but much easier to consume paan as a drink. “Paan also acts as a good digestive element,” adds Singh. 

Talking about this concoction and infusing betel leaf in a mocktail, Shaw says that the idea behind it is to offer a one-stop experience for foodies wherein the guest does not need to visit a paan shop after his meal. 

“Liquid Paan mocktail can be consumed as a nightcap after a meal or a cool aperitif before a meal whereas a proper paan is ideally consumed only after a meal. The drink was created by one of the founders of 1 BHK Superbar almost eight years ago.

The ingredients used are betel leaf, rose petal jam (gulkand), lemon juice and chilled apple juice. The glass is placed on a quarter plate, which is shaped like a square, and served along with a betel leaf with gulkand and a red cherry on top,” explains Shaw.  The Liquid Paan is priced at Rs 315. 

Location: 1BHK Superbar, near D-Mart, Baner 
Timings: Noon-1 am

THE RASMALAI-BETEL LOVE STORY 
Giving a twist to Rasmalai, a juicy and creamy Indian dessert, Dadu’s Sweet Emporio has come up with Paan Rasmalai. Talking about the sudden craze for paan-infused desserts and drinks, Rushel Dadu, owner, Dadu’s Sweet Emporio, says that paan as an ingredient can be used in any dish to give it a unique flavour. The dessert is priced at Rs 40 per piece.  

Paan is consumed as a mouth freshener and has a very Indian flavour. “We thought of curating a dessert using this leaf that would not just taste good but would be healthy as well.  The taste of Paan Rasmalai is refreshing. The malai balls dipped in paan-infused milk and garnished with saffron and dry fruits give the sweet a refreshing twist to the classic Indian mithai,” he explains.  

Location: Dadu’s Sweet Emporio, Shop No 3, Deron Heights, Baner, and 13, East Street, Hulshur, Camp
Timings: 8 am-10 pm (weekdays) and
8 am-10.30 pm (weekends)

SCOOP OUT PAAN KULFI   
Who doesn’t love kulfi! While Malai Kulfi, Kesar Pista Kulfi or Mango and Cardamom Kulfi can be your favourite, Matka Paan Kulfi will take you surprise. Chakradhar, head chef, Good News Dhaba, says Matka Paan Kulfi is for all those who love paan and are fond of kulfi. The Matka Paan Kulfi is an innovation that takes one’s love for paan to a whole new level.  Sold at Rs 135 (plus taxes), the dessert serves as a solution for your cravings for kulfi and mouth freshner.  Says Chakradhar, “A sweet or a sada paan is enjoyed after a meal by most Indians. But we decided to introduce paan in the form of kulfi. The taste is typical of paan with gulkand, saunf and elaichi flavours.” 

Talking about people’s growing love for paan, including youngsters, Chakradhar says, “There is a reason behind the craze for paan: a beautiful blend of refreshment and   appropriate sweetness.”

Where: Good News Dhaba, Creaticity Mall, Shastrinagar, Yerwada 
Timing: 12.30 pm- 12.30 am

SWIRL THE BETEL SOUR    
Taking inspiration from a popular cocktail, Whisky Sour, Kathiravan Govindaraj, corporate manager — operations, Savya Rasa, created Betel Sour. Govindaraj says that paan has interesting characteristics — slightly spicy and bitter — and has great digestive properties. 

“The twist in the drink is the betel leaf. Its usage in a classic Whisky Sour drink is innovative. The drink tastes sweet, sour and bitter with a hint of spice at the back of the palate. The other ingredients used in making this cocktail include cloves, cardamom and bitters (traditionally an alcoholic preparation flavoured with botanical matter so that the end result is characterised by a bitter, sour, or bittersweet flavour). The drink is available for Rs 699 (plus taxes). 

Where: Savya Rasa, Gera Serenity, off North Main Road, lane next to Starbucks, Koregaon Park.
Timing: Noon-3 pm and 7-11 pm

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