Bhubaneswar: The Raja festival is incomplete without chewing on delectable paan (betel leaf).
Even those not addicted make it a point to partake of the sweet paan in keeping with the cultural tradition during the three-day celebrations in Odisha.
And in keeping with the demand, outlets in Bhubaneswar come up with an array of innovative paan that you can’t simply afford to miss.
Odisha Bytes checks out the yummy chewables served at two city outlets.
Banarasi Paan Bhandar
Ramakant Senapati, the owner of Banarasi Paan Bhandar at Saheed Nagar, is famous for his ice paan and frozen paan with white caramel and black forest during Raja.
But the pandemic has dealt a blow to these special varieties. “There was always a huge demand for the ice paan and frozen paan in my shop. But I have stopped making them because they can’t be delivered online,” said Ramakant, who has been selling paan online since the first wave of the pandemic last year.
Another specialty of Banarasi Paan Bhandar is Ladoo Paan. “I have introduced five varieties of Ladoo Paan this year. These are Coconut Crunch Ladoo Paan, Keshar Ladoo Mitha Paan, Dry Fruit Paan, Trutti Frutti and Elaichi Special Ladoo Paan. The price of each paan is Rs 30,” he said, adding that these can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 30 days.
Besides, other varieties such as Dilkhus Paan, Dil Diwana, Paan Shots, Silk Paan, White Choco Paan, Dark Chocolate Paan, Navaratna Paan, Rasmalai Paan and Rabidi Paan are also quite popular.
The price of Mitha Paan ranges between Rs 15 and Rs 125, depending on the ingredients a customer wants. Likewise, the prices of different flavoured paan are between Rs 20 and Rs 25.
The residents of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack can also order the paan online from the website uphar.com and food delivery apps.
Business is brisk during Raja with Ramakant selling around 5,000 paan a day. “The demand for paan is so high that I and four friends have to prepare them without taking a break,” he said.
Mind Fresh Paan Shop
The Mitha Ladoo Paan served by Mind Fresh Paan Shop at Jagmohan Nagar is also quite a hit with customers.
“We serve varieties of paan. But Mitha Ladoo Paan, Raja Special Paan and Chocolate Paan (both white and dark) are the most in demand,” the shop owner, Dillip Kumar Pujari, informed.
Customers can order paan from Dillip’s shop by calling 9861096600 and 9348355200. “They can also order online through Mo BBSR.com and Uphaar.com,” he added.
The price range of the paan in his shop is between Rs 25 and Rs 500. “We sell around 1,000 paan daily during the Raja festival,” he added.
Raja special paan are also available at different shops at Rajmahal Square, Master Canteen Square, near Kesari cinema hall, Acharya Vihar, Nayapalli area, Pantha Nibas and other places in the Odisha capital every year.
As shops are closed due to lockdown, many of them have taken the online route to keep customers happy during the festivity.