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Turning over a betel leaf

india Updated: Mar 26, 2011 00:37 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

From chocolate to diet paans, paanwallas in the Capital have a lot of variety to offer

Odeon paan shop
There are three paan shops in one circular kiosk situated outside Odeon Cinema hall (now Big Cinemas) — Odeon Gupta Pan Palace, DN Shukla Odeon Paan and Odeon Milan Pan. They sell varieties of paan, such as chocolate paan, sweet paan, strawberry paan, Ghoondi paan (Rs20). Chuski paan (Rs5) is the hottest selling item here. Other items available here are mouth fresheners, cigarettes, cigars, assorted chocolates and chewing gums. This shops are frequented by office-goers and movie-goers.
We recommend: Chuski paan, stuffed with crushed ice, gulkand and roohafza (Rs15)
Where: Odeon Cinema compound, D Block, Connaught Place

Pandey’s paan
This paan shop came into being before India got its freedom. Established in 1943, in Connaught Place, and later shifted to its current address, this shop has VIP clientele. Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers frequent this shop to taste the various kinds of paan available here. The shop sells 35 types of sweet and plain paan. No tobacco products are sold here. The specialty of any paan prepared in this shop is that it would not leave any red stain and it just melts in your mouth.

The flavoured paan are priced at R30 and the regular ones are available for Rs20. You can try their Chiggy Whiggy sweet paan, Butterscotch paan and Madhuri special paan (named after actor Madhuri Dixit visited the shop) among others. Artist MF Husain had gifted a painting to the owners of Pandey’s after having a paan here. There is also a diet paan (Rs30) for the health-conscious; the gulkand for this paan is made of sucrose, not sugar. Pandey’s is also the official supplier of paan to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
We recommend: Butterscotch paan — stuffed with gulkand and butterscotch fudge (Rs30)
Where: Shop No 3, New MP’s Market, North Avenue
Tel: 011-23094043

Paan in Basant lok market
At the entrance of the Basant Lok market, there is an entire stretch, which has paan shops that not only sell paans, but stationery as well. One such shop is Vasant Communication. Chocolate paan, (R20) a speciality of this shop, has the beetle leaf stuffed with frozen chocolates chunks, along with gulkand. The shop has been around for 15 years and is run by Umashankar Chaurasiya, whose father had started this business. Here, you can try a variety of paans, such as Ghoondi paan (R20), frozen paan (R12) and normal paan (R7) among others. The shop also has an STD booth. Chewing gums, mineral water, imported chocolates, ice cubes and cold drinks are the other items sold here.
We recommend: Chocolate paan, stuffed with sweet chocolate (Rs20)
Where: Basant Lok Market, Vasant Vihar
Tel: 9899345405

Hori lal paan shop
This paan shop in Ashok Vihar came into being some 30 years back. It now has another branch in Pitampura. Meenakshi paan (R15), strawberry paan (R20), pineapple paan (R20), frozen paan (R15), chocolate paan (R20) and
Bengali-style Ghoondi paan (R15) are very popular. The shop also sells hookah, priced at R450 and upward. Apart from paan, this place is also stacked up with various sherbets and drinks, such as lemon soda.
We recommend: Frozen paan — sweet paan with ice that gives you a cool sensation the moment you put it in
your mouth (R15).
Where: Aggarwal Metro Heights, Shop No 71, Netaji Subhash Place, Pitampura
Tel: 9212811961

Yamu’s panchayat
This is perhaps one of the most popular paan shops in the city. A flavoured paan here costs R40 and a regular paan R30. Paans sold in this shop needn’t be spitted out and also, your lips won’t be stained red.
Paan Aadab is the speciality of Yamu’s Panchayat (Rs251) — it is coated with real gold and silver leaf and stuffed with saffron among other fillings. The shop also has dry paan, various churan, supari, cigars, exotic chocolates and chewing gums. You can buy a hookah or a sheesha here, for R450 and above. You can try their chuski (crushed ice cones, dipped in various flavoured syrups). While Kala Khatta is priced at R45, the other flavours are available for Rs40.
We recommend: Paan Adaab, coated with real gold vark (Rs251)
Where: 92, NDMC Market, Connaught Place
Tel: 011-23414644

Other famous paan shops
Prince Paan Corner
One of Delhi’s most popular paanwadis, the hottest seller here is nimbu masala paan.
Address: M-29/2, GK I
Tel: 011-29238810

Bengali Sweets
It’s the most popular destination for diners at
Bengali Market.
Address: 26, Bengali Market
Tel: 23311697
One of the most popular paan shops in Central Delhi, this place has no name. The shop is open from 7pm till early morning.
Address: Behind Claridges Hotel, Aurangzeb Road

Paan Bazaar
If you are an avid paan-lover, then you must definitely visit Paan Bazaar. You name it, you have it here in this bazaar! This narrow alley in Old Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar is home to more than 100 paan shops that offer paans from all over India. There is also Dholak Pakistani paan that finds many takers.

Nearest Metro station: Chawri Bazaar