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The world of gastronomy always surprises us. We know that exotic foods exist in many countries around the world, however, rarely do we witness that an appetizer (a light snack to whet the appetite) is so controversial.
One of the most curious snacks out there is the ‘fire paan’ and it was created by the Pradhuman Shukla family, who have owned a food stall for over 20 years in one of the busiest streets of New Delhi, India.
Traditionally, paan (or buyo in English) is a ‘chewy’ preparation made of betel leaves filled with areca nut and sometimes tobacco, and other spices such as sugar, nuts or cinnamon that is chewed and then swallowed or spat out and is very common in Indian cuisine.
However, this family put a twist on the traditional ‘paan’ and started “lighting it before putting it in customers’ mouths. They also changed the ingredients a bit by adding sweet masala, with a little ice and a concentrated pumpkin drink called Rooh Afza,” as highlighted by NextShark. This appetizer has become the venue’s most popular snack and they serve dozens of them a day.
Some consumers attribute ‘paan fire’ with medicinal effects on various ailments, such as colds, flu and sore throats. However, this is not scientifically proven.
The paan fire craze has reached different countries outside India. The Durga Paan & Falooda House restaurant in Sydney, Australia, also offers this peculiar snack. Most consumers try it with some trepidation but a lot of curiosity.
Would you dare to try it?