In Old Delhi, the street food here is great, while Calcutta can get considered as the Queen of great Bengali street food, Old Delhi is great for its Mughal influenced Muslim delights.
One of the weirdest thing I am getting addicted to, is the great quality sweet paan from Old Delhi. An average it cost from 3rp – 10rp. Paan which is betel nut and its leaf is kinda of a dessert or a mouth-freshener which proofs to be a little addictive, where everyone seem to have in their mouth, chewing and splitting constantly.
I have tried betel nut leaf in many places around India and Burma, I hate it, they taste bitter and have this tongue and mouth numbing effect that it last for an hour.
In Megahalaya, the Khasi tribe tradition to serve a tongue numbing mix of limestone and bitter betel nut leaf, the womenfolk loves their betel nut as shown in the red and black decaying teeth and their blood stained lips.
Nagaland where a naga man once told me, chewing betel nut is healthy for teeth while showing his decaying black stained set of ivory and in Calcutta where they constantly chew the processed and dried version of it and forever seem to be splitting all over the streets of Calcutta.
The paan in Old Delhi is kinda different, the leaf is sweet tasting and you get the choice of putting a sweet version of some fruit sugar instead of that horrid limestone paste. The Paan maker gives you a whole selection of his fruit preserves, dried coconut flakes, candied spices and herbs such as fennel, and a whole lot of different syrups made from saffron, dates, honey and jaggery (brown palm sugar), of course they do add the fresh betel nut, which I usually opt out. I don’t seem to know how to chew the fresh betel nut, its tough and hard and it almost breaks or chip your teeth.
This paan seller seem to be quite popular, I had to wait for a while, there were many people constantly at the stall. The variety of mixes are amazing, hidden chambers of syrups, sweet fruits and other spices and herbs