How to make Coconut Meeta Paan Ladoo
From using it in religious ceremonies to eating it in the form of a 'paan'; betel leaves contain many curative and healing health benefits. My mom & grandma used to grow it in our home and these aromatic leaves were readily available to reap the health benefits from the same. Betel leaves are supposed to heal wounds when applied over a wound and bandaged. If you are suffering from a severe headache, my grandma used to ask us to use 'vetrilai pathu' The leaves have cooling properties which provide instant relief from the ache when applied externally.
Benefits aside, I have always been a fan of the meeta paan for the sweet filling in it. So, here is a recipe that skips the slaked lime (sunnambu) & areca nuts/supari (pakku), but has all the yummy ingredients like coconut, elaichi, gulkund, nuts & cloves. You can pick & choose your favorite filler ingredients.
2 cups fresh/frozen grated coconut (do not use the brown part)
Ingredients for about 30 ladoos:
8 to 10 vetrilai/paan/betel leaves
1 cup condensed milk
about 1/2 cup, dry desiccated coconut (for rolling)
1/2 tsp, cardamom/elaichi powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup of gulkund (rose petal preserve)
1/2 tsp, saunf/fennel seeds
whole cloves, for garnishing
green food color, optional
chopped nuts, optional (I used almonds)
- To a food processor, add the grated coconut & grind dry until fine. Transfer to a bowl.
- Wash, remove the stem & the bottommost tip of all paan leaves. Add tore paan leaves, pulse until fine add condensed milk & grind till both are well combined. Add few drops of green food color, if desired.
- Heat a pan on medium heat, add the coconut and roast for a couple of minutes on medium-low heat. Add the condensed milk - paan mixture and stir to combine. You can add the elaichi powder & fennel seeds at this point.
- Cook for a few minutes on low heat, until the mixture, thickens & forms into one solid mass. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.
- Grease your hands with ghee if needed, take a small portion from the coconut mixture, flatten it and add ½-1 teaspoon of gulkund and chopped nuts in the center. Bring the edges together and roll to form a ladoo. Roll the prepared ladoos in desiccated coconut. Repeat the same process with the remaining ladoos.
- Garnish with cloves, if desired. Refrigerate the ladoos & enjoy as a digestive/mouth freshener.
This recipe was inspired by another paan recipe from a tv show. You may add supari to the filling if you desire. Sharing this delicious recipe with my friends at SriValli's CCC#50 Oct week 3.