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Tamul Paan : Areca nut and Betel leaf

Tamul Paan served in a bell metal utensil called Bota

Tamul Paan means areca nut and betel leaf. Tamul is areca nut and paan is betel leaf. Tamul and paan are served together as a pair with a small portion of limestone. Tamul paan is an integral part of Assamese society. Areca nut is first peeled and then cut into pieces. Betel leaf is also cut into pieces and then served together with or without limestone. Tamul paan is offered whenever a guest visits as a mark of honour. Tamul paan is served in a bell metal utensil called Bota. Tamul paan is often served at the end of an Assamese meal.

Tamul or areca nut is also known as betel nut. Areca nut is the seed of the areca palm. When the husk of the areca seed is green, the nut inside is  soft which is called kumolia tamul in Assamese. When the hush of the areca seed become yellow or orange, the fruit inside becomes hard. Both green or orange that means unripe or ripe areca nuts are freshly picked and after removing the fibrous shell consumed with betel leaves.

The orange or yellow coloured ripe fruits are then buried in moist pits for 1-2 weeks for maturation. By this traditional method the areca nuts can be preserved for longer period.