Fire Paan – India’s hottest street food trend

If you love your tandoori spicy and your vindaloo on the phall side then it might just be tempting, and a bit mad, to want to travel to the streets of Delhi where the latest food trend is taking off. Paan traditionally is a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut and is popular in India and South Asia. Traditionally the leaf is served wrapped around various preparations and has a chewy consistency which many Indians believe can freshen breath and help with digestion. Paan is so popular it is often served at weddings and feasts and fillings such as rose petals, cloves, coconut powder and fennel, with real silver accents that makes them look very attractive.

But this paan is different. Served by specialist street paanwhallers, it is a delicacy not for the faint-hearted. After preparation using ingredients such as chuna, chutney, Delhi masala, chocolate and pudina, the flame is lit using liquid clove. Still alight, the paan is fed to the customer, only the closing of his or her mouth to extinguish the fire. Paanwhallers claim that the fiery treat cleanses the throat.

But authorities in India are on full alert to tell punters that this delicacy may in fact contain toxic materials, and the ‘cleansing’ might be actually ‘stripping’ and even aggravating to things such as ulcers. Not to mention the risk of getting a burnt nose and mouth in the process of eating fire. Still, the fire paans remain popular … with those who like their fancies a little hot. For all your fire safety needs, including smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire blankets contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

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