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Digestif paan shot at Punjab Grill
The betel leaf discovered in a new avatar -- as an after-mint drink at a North Indian restaurant in Mumbai
After a rich meal of kebabs, dal and Tandoori grills diners often want to pop outside for a digestive paan, an after-mint. They chew the nutmeg and fennel seed mix wrapped in betel leaf, all the way back home.
At Punjab Grill by Jiggs Kalra, one of Mumbai's best North Indian restaurants, I discover my first post-modern paan -- blended in its entirety with milk and poured into a shot glass.
Punjab Grill's paan shot is a digestif drink, invented by a young bartender for the restaurant's launch three years ago and provided free after every meal.
There's another version spiked with vodka (Rs 425).
"It's an end-of-the meal suprise," said Zorawar, son of owner/chef Jiggs Kalra. "A lot of people don't order dessert after a heavy meal, so it's our version of a sweet send-off."
"I've seen one guy do eight or nine paan shots at a go."
The vodka one?
"No. The plain one," said Kalra. "People love it."
Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel; +91 (0)22 4347 3980; Juhu Shopping Centre, Gulmohar Park Society, Gulmohar Road, Opposite Sujoy Hospital, Juhu; +91 (0)22 42433100, 42433101; www.punjabgrill.in
Opening July 8 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore too.