A food fable from my childhood memories. GuestPost by Shalzmojo.

My initial growing years were in Jaipur at my grandfather’s house – it was a typical joint family scene with loads of other cousins to play with (there were 5 of us and more when some came down for their vacations too)

Jaipur is a pretty hot region and the grownups loved taking a siesta in the afternoon. We would be cajoled or scolded into it too but we learn to sneak out as soon as their slumber reached a deep place.

Now with the adults asleep, the whole house would be our playground. We would devise many games to play but one strikes up in my memory as very special.

We kids were fascinated with Paan which we were not indulged in at all. That made it even more exotic and one of my older cousins made a game for it.

So he would don the hat of the paanwala, while we were sent to ferret out supplies to make the erstwhile filling to go in it.

Now you might be wondering how on earth would we source these supplies? Raid dadi ma’s paandaan perhaps?

Nah…. She didn’t have one as my grandfather abhorred it.

My genius cousin had a fusion version in mind. We kids used to munch on leaves of several trees in the garden with varying degrees of success of digestion   We have eaten leaves of guava, gooseberry, tamarind and even jade plant – yeah I know we were adventurous to say the least.

So the guava leaf became our paan leaf. Sugar, aam choor, salt, red chillies and drinking chocolate powder (Remember the Cadbury tin? I could devour the entire tin in one sitting; I think I still can) became part of the inner fillings.

Yes there were two paan versions- one sweet n sour and the other chocolate. No points for guessing which was our favourite.

My grandmother would lock up the kitchen and store while she slept. So we had to really use all our ingenuity to get inside the kitchen store and raid it without waking the adults.

Once all supplies were in places, my cousin would start dishing them out as we queued up for them.


I still can’t believe we used to eat this concoction and with such relish. I am sure you are all disgusted by this food fable and are wondering what is wrong with me  But I am telling you it was quite delicious to the 5 year old me!!!!!

Do you have any such childhood memory? Do share it with me.


About Shalzmojo

An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.

Read about Pushkar- a foodie haven

This post is written for the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo

Linking up for #wordsante with Namysaysso for every post deserves some love

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Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

27 thoughts on “A food fable from my childhood memories. GuestPost by Shalzmojo.

  1. That’s one amusing memory, Shalz, and I could so imagine you kids queuing up for the paan your older cousin doled out to you all! The whole scene was right in front of my eyes and it was hilarious, to say the least! The chocolate filling does sound quite interesting, now! 😛


  2. hehe and your grandfather’s house was in Jaipur. Mine was in Unnao in UP and the summers were very hot. Our parents would tell us not to play in hot loo but who listened. I have never tasted a guava leaf. I didn’t even know it was edible. Quite ingenious by the way.

    My brother and I enjoyed roasting a potato on gas and eating it with salt after peeling the skin. Mum and dad used to get mad at us but we did it with regularity. Of course, they always knew because no matter what precaution we took, the smell gave us away. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah the loo!!! Man we were threatened cos of it too but once we were out, never felt it and wondered what on earth were the grown ups on about?!!!!! 😉 I have to try this roasted potato – sounds delish!!! And yes the leaf is edible and a tea is made out of it too for herbal/weight loss benefits among other things!!


  3. Totally loved this post and could identity with so many things in there. The summer siesta, the way we were dragged in to sleep and the way we’d slink out the moment the adults were asleep. Our grand mom did keep a paandaan with those small boxes for kattha, chuna and supari. And we’ve eaten leaves too. I can vouch for tamarind leaves, they’re quite delicious. Guava leaves are tough. Hats off to you guys for munching on them. They taste yum in tea though. Have you tried it ever? They’re great for a bad throat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha! That took me back years down the lane! Well, whaddya know Shalzz, you have company! I used to concoct stuff with my cousins too! An awful combo of chopped tomatoes, ghee, nuts, for some reason, almond essence and yes loads of sugar….yikes it was really awful tasting! But I must say your paan recipe was pretty ingenous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my that does sound weird and wicked Kala but you know what watching these modern day chefs of today, I kinda think we were on the right track! We do have choc paan now though ok its not served in a guava leaf;-) But Hey We were the pioneers or so we could tell ourselves!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can so relate to this! As an 8 year old, my fantasy was to invent a drink that would rival CocaCola. So one stay over , my friend and I made our own concoction of tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, water and I can’t remember what else ( possibly sugar) and had it with much trepidation . Needless to say that night , she got up feeling queasy and threw up all over me !

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for featuring Shalini’s post, Shilpa! It was fantastic to relive your childhood days of fun and mischief, Shalini. I recalled so many of our antics too, as I read and nodded along remembering my childhood days. Even we used to eat “paan” which was a leaf from a wild berry plant in the hills, where we lived, that actually gave us red lips because of the juice and so each time we would spit red, it would fill us with sheer delight, until we’d come home and get yelled at by our mothers for putting all sorts of rubbish into our mouth, But, who listens, tell me? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh wow, this post took me back to childhood days. Every summers cousins would visit us, and granny’s kitchen store would become our treasure room. I still remember hunting for freshly made mango pickles, aam-papads and amchoor (dry mango)… later we sneak into different rooms to hide our loot.

    Love the post, thank you for refreshing the memories from the past Shalini.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ha ha childhood is such I guess. It is just simple and plain without any complexities, hence the best time 🙂 I do have one such memory. We went on a road trip for 1 week, the whole extended family in a van when I was like in 3rd standard. On one night me and my cousin finished up all the snacks that were packed for our journey. I still remember the smacking I got from my mom and the next morning 😀


  9. I remember once when our moms slept , my cousins and I went to the terrace in the middle of night! Lovely post, brought back so many fun memories to me as well!
    I used to it Paan as a kid, but haven’t tasted in years!


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