A tobacco-free paan store has opened in Blackburn for the first time.

The traditional paan is prepared by combining a betal leaf with a range of sweet products and is then chewed for its taste. It is served folded into a triangle or rolled.

It is consumed throughout Southeast Asia, the Indian sub-continent and East Asia. There, the paan tends to have tobacco products inside and is used for it’s ‘stimulating’ effects.

The new ‘Blackburn Paan House’ is based where the former Malik Travel Service store located on Whalley Range.

Flavoured paan has become popular in the UK with Leicester being one of the areas where several stores of this type have opened over the past few years. Varieties tend to mirror flavours of ice cream, including mango, cola, pineapple, strawberry, and chocolate.

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Haroon Mulla who opened the shop in Blackburn last week said, “I am from Leicester and we realised that people from Blackburn didn’t have a specialist paan store.

“If you go to Leicester there is a good variety of paan shops.

“There are so many people from Blackburn travelling to Manchester to get paans of this quality and nature

“We have specialist ingredients which we don’t want to give out because it is our own recipe.”

“Each paan is made fresh every day or it can be customised when you visit. We use only the sweetest Indian leaf.

“The Blackburn Paan House Special is something quite unique.”

“Leicester is famous for chocolate paans and we are presently offering Nutella and Biscoff Paans.”

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At the Blackburn store the paans come as sweet, sada (plain), custom, flavoured or in house specials formats. The latter said Haroon was delivered fresh every Friday.

The paans which cost £1 to £1.50 are prepared by 'specialist paan maker' Mahir who learnt his skills in Leicester.

Haroon said the paans do not contain tobacco whatsoever. “The paans are for designed for the whole family and not just for traditional paan eaters.

“The leafs we use are the sweetest ones available.

“ I would suggest the sweet paan for those trying the paan for the first time."