Paans of Jamnagar
Betel chewing is a part of many Asian cultures, and preparation techniques vary from region to region. The nut is either slivered or grated, often flavored with spices according to local tradition and usually wrapped in a betel leaf ( betel leaf comes from the betel pepper plant, Piper betle, which is not botanically related to the betel palm, Areca catechu), along with some lime (calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide) to better extract the alkaloids. Some people also chew tobacco with betel nut. After about 20 minutes of chewing, the fibrous residue which remains of the nut is spat on the street, where it remains visible due to its characteristic bright red color. Trails of bright red sputum lining the sidewalks are a sure indication of the popularity of betel chewing in an area.
In Jamnagar, betel (called paan ) chewing is as popular as tobacco smoking in the whole world. Paan is often served wrapped in a betel leaf,
In Jamnagar, infact in the whole of India, paan has been playing an important part in social life and customs for hundreds of years. In the courts of Medieval Rulers, the betel leaf or pan was offered as part of hospitality, friendship and love.
In the templeof Lord Venkatesh at Tirupati in the south, the butter from the forehead of Lord Venkatesha, wrapped inside a pan leaf, is given to devotees as a special blessing from the Lord.
In olden days wives offered betel leaf to their husbands to seduce them and to wean them away from the 'Other Women' after reciting the Vashikaran mantras 108 times. The thugs, in the olden times, poisoned their victims by offering a poison filled pan after a heavy wining and dining session
In the underworld, even today, the word 'supari' is used as a cue for murder.
A paan can be offered to guests at any time.
The Different types of paans are:
'Saada paan:Just a filling of cardamom, betel nut and cloves
Chutney paan: Has a filling of cardamom, betel nut & spicy mint paste.
Meetha paan: Its filled with grated coconut, dates, gulkand (rose petal & sugar syrup) & jellied fruit.
Tobacco paan: is filled with tobacco of different brands and betel nut.
Eating pan continuously and with tobacco can cause cancer but then anything is bad in excess. Moreover, the tobacco users also need to spit it out which they do everywhere. you will see the landing of many buildings covered with the stains of pan spit making the place very ugly.
Regular betel chewing also causes the teeth and gums to be stained red; however, it may also reduce cavities.
In Jamnagar the best places to have paan are :
1. Manoobhai Paanwala, behind Hotel President
2. N.D. Paanwala, in Limda Lane
3. Bajrang Paan, on the Pandit Nehru Road
You can ask any autorickshaw driver to take you there, they are famous...