Thursday, March 10, 2016

Paan Shots | Gulkand Paan Milkshake

Paan, India's favorite after meal ritual is essentially a betel leaf (paan means leaf in Hindi) stuffed with various things like areca nut (supari in Hindi), slaked lime (chunna), mouth freshener and katha paste. What started as a simple after meal idea to do away with the taste and smell of food, has taken a unique turn over the years. Visit a few places in Mumbai, and they have paans like Chocolate stuffed, Rasmalai paan to the latest Nitrogen paan; a paan that comes steaming with cold nitrogen.

In India, there are different varieties of paan like Bangala Paan, Mitha Paan, Maghai Paan, Calcutta Paan and Banaras Paan. The small corner shops all over the country selling the paans have a person sitting with all the ingredients by his side and making paan in a unique way! To read more about paan and how to make a traditional paan, read this article by Anita Mokashi. She has captured the essence of Mumbai's famous paan and a recipe of how to make paan at home! 

For people who enjoy paan, converting the traditional paan to a drink will be a good idea. I picked on that idea and make these paan shots. Holi, the festival of colors is around the corner and what better time than this to make these shots for your family? This drink has the essential ingredients of a paan: betel leaf, saunf/ fennel, cardamom and gulkand. I have also added almonds and pistachios to the drink to enhance the flavor. 

You would ideally get the betel leaves from a local paan vendor or from the Indian grocery store in your area. Get them on the day you desire to make the drink, so that they are nice, fresh and green! Gulkand, an Indian mixture of rose petals and sugar is used in this drink. One can easily find that in Indian stores too. Get all the ingredients together and then the drink comes together in ten minutes. A really easy and tasty drink for your family this Holi! 


Milk 2 glasses
Betel Leaves 3-4
Cardamom 2-3 pods
Fennel/ saunf seeds 1 tbsp
Gulkand 4 tbsp
Almonds 3-4
Pistachios 3-4
Saffron a pinch


Soak the almonds and pistachios for a few hours. After 4-5 hours, crush to a fine paste. Using a mortar pestle, crush the fennel seeds, saffron and cardamom seeds. Wash and crush the paan/betel leaves with little water. Strain and set aside.

When ready to make, add the almond pistachio paste, fennel cardamom and saffron mixture and paan extract to a blender. Blend well and add the gulkand. Blend again. Add the milk, blend it one final time and remove in small cutting/ shot glasses. Serve. 

Sending this recipe to Sonal's collective on Holi. Check out her blog for some awesome recipes!! 


  1. This is just fantastic Smruti! I am loving it! ��❤️❤️❤️

  2. Seems an apt drink for HOLI... Happy Holi in advance!

  3. How many cups does this measurement make?

    1. It makes two big glasses. I served in cutting glasses, so it made about 5.