I love the taste of paan with gulkand. Everytime I visit India, I make sure that I buy paan from a roadside stall. My husband frowns when I say I love eating paan. Traditionally, the betel leaves are wrapped with areca nut (pakku), little tobacco and slaked lime (sunambhu). That’s how my grandparents ate. But the sweet paan is made with cherries, fennel seeds, rose petal jam and nuts. However, the betel leaf has many medicinal benefits and has been extensively used in Ayurveda. Have you noticed that when we chew betel leaves there is a lot of salivary secretions. It stimulates the release of saliva which is the first step of digestion, as various enzymes in it break down food, making it easy to digest.
Living in California, I get to invite friends from different ethnic and cultural background for dinner at my home. I am a huge fan of simple recipes. When I have guests, I want to make a dish that will impress them and also my time in the kitchen should be minimal.
I wanted to present my favorite paan as a dessert drink. I made a fresh batch of rose petal jam and made a smoothie with chopped betel leaves, almond milk and cardamom powder. You can also use vanilla ice cream instead of almond milk. Serve it cold on a shot glass. This is a vegan dessert as I have made it with almond milk. If you use a store bought rose petal jam, then this is a no-cook, no-fire recipe. Your kids can help you make it. You can also find my gulkand payasam recipe here.
- 1-2 betel leaf, roughly torn or chopped
- 3-5 tbsp gulkhand jam (homemade or store bought) – use as per your liking
- 500 ml Almond milk
- 10-12 soaked almond, ground to a paste
- 1 tsp cardamom powder (add more if you like its flavor)
- In a small grinder, preferably a smoothie blender, add betel leaves, rose petal jam, 1/2 cup almond milk & cardamom powder. Blend it well to form a smooth paste. Don’t add all the milk as it will not grind well.
- Add more almond milk to dilute the paste. Mix the almond paste well to combine.
- Transfer to a clean bowl. Strain it and store it in fridge.
- Once you are ready to serve, mix well as they will settle down at the bottom. Pour in shot glass and serve cold.