Chocolate Paan, Chuski Paan, Fire Paan & More - The Legendary Shukla Odeon Paan Palace In CP
As a child, you must remember a paan as some green leaf that only adults ate, which made their teeth red. One can’t help but wonder in childish curiosity what could that leaf possibly contain that turns everything such a magical red and that older people keep on having despite being warned that it’s not good for health. Most Indians would probably know what a paan means and looks like, without knowing what it actually contains.
A paan is basically a preparation of betel leaves with various condiments for the filling and chunna paste, or slaked lime, to bind the leaves. A paan might or might not contain tobacco, which functions as a psychoactive substance intended to produce euphoria.
Shukla Odeon Paan Palace has been around almost since the time India as a nation took birth; since 1948, this paan shop has stood loyally besides Odeon cinema, catering to throngs of movie-goers, couples out on dates, people getting out from work, friends out looking for trouble, and families just finished with dinner. However, the health dangers implicate that the paans sold are without tobacco.
This particular paan shop has not only the regular sada paan and meetha paan, it also has a number of other paans with a clever innovation!
The most popular out of which is the chuski paan. A chuski or a baraf ka gola, is ice on a stick dipped in different syrups and flavours. What the chuski paan does is combine these two hugely different Indian things. But wait, eating the chuski paan is not for the faint hearted, so here is a step by step guide on how to eat the chuski paan:
Step 1: Get yourself in position as the paanwala crushes the ice and prepares your paan; hold a tissue in one hand and use the other hand to hold the person who has come with you for moral support.
Step 2: Try not to freak out as you realize that you can’t have the paan in bites and you will just have to take in the whole thing at one go as you open your mouth wide…
Step 3: DON’T SPIT IT!!
Seriously, that’s the most important rule. No matter how big a brain freeze you get or how much you feel like it, don’t spit it. Even if your entire being with its guts and instincts tells you to do it, don’t spit it. It will get better in a few minutes. Chuski paan is filled with lots of ice along with other condiments of course, so that once you have it, you’re supposed to deal with all that ice at the same time.
We highly recommend the chuski paan as it’s not just a paan, it’s an experience, and if you are in Delhi, this is one experience which you must not skip. However, remember the rule: you win or you spit, there is no middle ground.
There is also something called the Flood Paan, which is supposedly three times as strong as the chuski paan. If you are planning to try that however, be sure that you have been using teeth-sensitive toothpaste and are ready to give up hot and cold food for a few days to follow.
Then there is the Chocolate Paan, which is the tastiest sort of paan available. The whole paan is enveloped and contained inside a chocolate bar, and the taste that the combination of chocolate and paan produces is simply unbeatable. The gooey chocolate-ness and the minty flavour and the betel leaves all go together extremely well.
If you are a paan enthusiast, then you must try out some more whacky flavours like the Blackcurrant and the Butterscotch paans. The blackcurrant paan however is extremely unappealing and must be tried by only those who are certain that their passion for paans will overcome the absurd flavours to follow.
Then there is also the Classic Gundi Paan, the paan hails from Calcutta and comes in a set of 4 paans, and leaves behind a refreshing and cooling taste, instead of the brain freeze and the victory feeling. It is definitely a must to visit this paan shop and especially have the chuski paan once, which could give all the bizarre street food lists a run for their money.
Last but not least, The line ‘Sometimes all you need is six seconds of insane courage’ fits in well for this paan. Giving you the Roadies or Khatron Ke Khiladi feels is the Fire Paan! Sounds scary, looks even scarier but once it’s over, you want more! The way the paan wallah dumps it in your mouth, without giving you a second to back off, fills you with chills and thrills. Go try it for yourself!
So for your after dinner plans, head on over!
Location | D-1, Middle Circle, Connaught Place