Sunday, July 24, 2011

Edible Silver Leaf | Chaandi Ka Varq

I was introduced to this delicate as a damsel, thin leafy edible goodness as a kid. The leaf was nicely attached to multi colored mithais we got for Diwali or Dussehra from local sweet shop vendors. I wondered how easy or difficult (?) it was to put these tiny leaves on confectionery items. Both my parents adore Paan; if we visit restaurants for lunches or dinners, its considered an unpardonable aberration if we forget to chomp a delicious juicy Paan from the vendors who typically own a quiet pigeon hole sized shop right outside the corner of restaurants. Seeing both my folks chomping away Paan, I got into the habit of savouring my Paan Bidaa and now my husband also enjoys a Paan if we have one within accessible limits.

Before I digress, whether its occasional festive platter of Mithais or Paan, the silvery leaves enamoured me to bits. I hunted down some local vendors in India to procure my book of silver leaves much opposing the protest of my family, aunts and uncles who believe they are all contaminated and banned for health reasons. Use your discretion as per your preferred dietary choice. I was delighted to discover this rectangular pack which has a book of silver square cut paper. Each time you lift a sheet of paper, you are exposed to the tiny, thin, delicate and uber special - Chaandi Ka Varq. One can also find edible gold leaves or Sone Ka Varq but are quite rare and prized owing to the rarity and exquisiteness. I use them to decorate mithais, desserts which require that something extra to spruce up the presentation.

I was amused when one of our american friends causally asked me during one of the dinners if Indians consume silver as part of regular food? I laughed my heart out and explained the history and delicateness of this leaf which we all either proudly consume or detest or plainly disregard but is an inherent part of out culinary culture and has been so for many many decades now beginning from the royal families who used them in abundance to the contemporary weddings and festive cuisines where a bit of bling just adds to the overall ambience.

If you wish to use the silver leaf as embellishment for desserts or sweet items, just invert the paper on the portion of item desired. The silver leaf immediately clings to the surface. The leaves have a tendency to stick to any of kind of surface in contact so avoid using hands or fingers while transferring to the edible item of choice. The silver as such does not have a flavour or taste, it is just used as garnish cum decor item.


  1. Hi Ashwini, i came across your blog searching GSB recipes. Very useful blog and neatly consolidated. Khushi Jalle Vajjunu :)

  2. @ Rashmi Swamy - Thank You! Loved to hear GSB Konkani after a long time..! Appreciate the kind words. :)


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