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It's like someone coming at your mouth with a tiny flamethrower.
Chewing paan is not a habit you’ve likely encountered in the United States. It’s popular throughout India and Southeast Asia and involves different preparations of betel leaf, sometimes with berries, sometimes with spices. People generally enjoy it as a stimulant and as relief for things like headaches and coughs, chewing on and often swallowing the leaves and their fillings. But a new paan ingredient has captured the Internet’s imagination: Fire.
It was supposedly invented last winter at a paan shop called Galaxy Paan, but has taken off more recently. Fire paan’s creator claims it took 45 days to figure out, hopefully without too many accidents along the way. The dish, if you can really call it that, involves, as you might expect, a clove-stuffed betel leaf lit on fire. And how could something like this not go viral? Videos show paan makers shoving tiny fireballs into people’s mouths.
Fortunately we haven’t seen any unfortunate paan injuries at this point, but one person who has sampled the hot stuff warned anyone who might want to try it to avoid moving as you eat the flame, lest burns ensue.
We haven’t come across anyone stateside making fire paan just yet, so if you want to get your dangerous drinking fix you may be stuck with a DIY Flaming Moe.