INGREDIENTS

Buyer's guide

Buy from Indian grocers, Indian restaurants, or ‘paan’ shops.

Storage

Store in an airtight container.

Preparation

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.