Betel nuts recipes
Also known as areca nut, this is the fruit of the areca palm that is chewed as a stimulant or digestive aid in Asian countries. Although it resembles a round, brown nut in appearance, it is not eaten raw or cooked like a conventional nut. It contains arecoline, a stimulating alkaloid, and tannins, which give it a smooth, astringent taste.
Buy from Indian grocers, Indian restaurants, or ‘paan’ shops.
Store in an airtight container.
Betel nuts are eaten after having been processed commercially. Unripe or ripe nuts are shelled, boiled and sun-dried, then crushed with lime and catechu, a red, astringent extract made from boiled pieces of areca palm wood. The nuts can be bought and eaten in this form. Alternatively, they are sold in ‘paan’ shops wrapped in betel (‘paan’) leaves and eaten with sweet and savoury condiments.