A herb, nut and seed mixture that is commonly served Middle Eastern countries such as India. Pan Masala is most often considered to be an item to aid digestion or used as a breath freshener for use after consuming highly spicy meals. A typical mixture of Pan Masala will contain fennel seeds as the base ingredient as well as sugar coated seeds that may include sesame, fennel, and coriander seeds. Mint leaves, cardamom, powdered lime, pure menthol, catechu, betel nuts, areca nuts, and other flavorings may also be added to the mixture. When eaten following a meal, chewing the ingredients releases flavors that are refreshing to the mouth and digestive system.
Recent concerns have been expressed over some Pan Masala mixtures that include tobacco products. Not all Pan Masala has tobacco as an ingredient so it is best to check prior to consuming. Those mixures that do contain tobacco are being banned in some areas because medical experts believe they have the potential to cause cancer due to the tobacco additives.
Small dishes of the Pan Masala mixture may be served at the table or at adjacent tables to have available for those desiring to freshen thier breath or improve their digestion following the consumption of spicy foods.