Interesting Eats: Cow's Hoof and Paan
- David Naimark
Was in the outskirts of LA with my delightful Pakistani boss and enjoyed Nawab Kabana in Lawndale. Naan bread was excellent; used it to soak up Lamb Karahi and Cow's Hoof (very rich and unctuous, a little goes a long way). After lunch, drove to Janaran in Artesia (just off the 605 exit) for some freshly rolled paan. I'd had pre-rolled paan but this was the first time I'd seen it made before my eyes. The betel leaf had just been brought in from Florida and was entirely edible. It was $1.50, which my boss thought was expensive (it's usually $1.00), but I thought the freshness of the leaf made it worth it.
Paan is a kind of an after-meal digestive. The paan maker takes a betel leaf, smears it with some type of syrup, and then fills it with variety of herbs, spices, seeds, tobacco's (if you desire), etc. You pop it in your mouth and chew. It cleanses your breath, helps digest your dinner, and gives you a little "buzz". Quite fun.