A Very Short History of the Banarasi Paan

A Very Short History of the Banarasi Paan

The fabled Banarasi paan doesn't come from Banaras, but don't let that stop you

Juhi Saklani
February 05 , 2017
Less than 1 Min Read

The most well-known secret to which we non-paan eaters are denied access is the fact that the Banarasi paan, iconised by Amitabh Bachchan years ago, is not from Banaras at all. Or at any rate its leaf is not, which is the main thing. The paan ka patta which brings tears to a dedicated Banarasi’s eyes is called maghai and is grown in Bihar. Alternatively, it could be called jagannathi and grow in Odisha. It could even be the desi, grown in Jaunpur. But it wouldn’t be grown in Banaras. Wherever his leaf is imported from, the Banarasi’s love for his paan means a range of things—from using it as a religious offering to consuming it some five times a day..

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