BALLARI: ‘O Khaike Paan Banaraswala, Khuli Jaye Band Akal Ka Taala’ (The mind gets unlocked after eating Banarsi paan) is how Amitabh Bachchan describes Banarsi paan. However, the paan you get at Gulzar paan shop here does not only relax your body and mind, but improves your health.
Situated at SN Pet in the city, Gulzar paan shop is well known among paan beeda lovers.
From Gali Janardhana Reddy to former ministers Diwakar Babu and Allum Veerabhadrappa, all want Gulzar paan in the meal plates of their guests at functions they host. This is how the popularity of Gulzar paan is spread in Ballari and neighbouring districts of Andhra Pradesh.
From 26 varieties of sweet ones, the paan prepared here is favourite among those who have a habit of chewing paan after a meal. In the menu, the paans are separated as regular, special sweet and special paan with flavours and tobacco-zarda paans.
One of the specialities of Gulzaar paan is that most of the ingredients used in making of varieties of paan are homemade. Be it gulkand, khajur supari, pan katha, most of the ingredients are prepared by family members of Syed Azmath, the owner of Gulzar paan shop.
Azmath says he and his brothers Syed Mohammad Abdullah and Syed Jafar Sadik have been running the paan shop since 2002. However, the one who established the brand was his grandfather Syed Usman in 1948. “Initially, the shop was selling beedi and later sale of paan was started. My father Syed Mahmood Sab developed the business. My brothers and I were sent to Mumbai to get trained in paan making. We returned Ballari in 2001 and established the paan shop at SN Pet in 2002. The initial investment was Rs 5,000 and now, our business is running well,” says Azmath.
Janardhana Reddy, who ordered over 50,000 dry fruit paans for the marriage function of his daughter, has been a regular visitor for the past eight years.
The price of sweet paan is Rs 20, those contain tobacco are priced up to Rs 45. “I’m preparing a winter special paan called Special Kesar that contains ayurvedic ingredients which are beneficial to health,” he says.