5 February 2015

Arecanuts at Kyathanahalli

I come from a arecanut business family. My paternal grandfather and my maternal great grandfather(who is also my hubby's grandfather), were both into arecanut business. My grandfather was well known in the town of Hassan as Adike Papanna(Adike meaning arecanut and Papanna, his nick name). I still remember my grand mother narrating the stories of her childhood, where whole family used to get involved in, separating the arecanut seeds, cutting and on. And her father would attend the weekly markets in the near by places. While non of my maternal uncles, got into this business, only one of my paternal uncles, continued this business, whom we lost a year back.
Arecanut is a seed from areca palm, a tree from palm family. It is often chewed along with betel leaf and lime. A native to Asia, its said that Dutch and Portuguese sailors took it to Europe during 18th century.

On the way from Doddagaddavalli to Bylahalli, we visited Kyathanahalli, a village, my uncle used to buy arecunut from. Its a very neat and calm village, with most of the family into arecunut farming. You find the nuts spread out in front of almost every house. We stopped at one of the houses, where few people were working on the nuts. 
Manual peeling of the raw nut

The raw nut resemble tender coconut but very small in size. The raw nut is peeled, colour dyed and dried. Then, its either cut or crushed depending on the demand.
Boilers for dyeing the nuts 
Coloured nut spread to dry
Though I find half cut nuts only in South India, crushed nut is available in packets everywhere in India. Here in Mumbai, we get the peeled uncolored ones.
Peeling of left over peel
While most of the process is manually done even today, this crusher is used by few to crush the nuts. The machine is attached to a tracker and people hire these machine on daily basis.
The visit to the village refreshed my childhood memories, of the fragrance of the sacks of nuts which used to be stored at my grandpa's place. 

Updated: Thank you Shivani for pointing out the use of arecanuts(supari) as offering to Hindu Gods along with Betel leaf(paan).


  1. Beautiful photos with nice info

    thanks meghana...

  2. whoa the sacred nut...none of our festival or poojas/ worships are complete without this pak or supari as we call it in Hindi. Betel is paan and supari is this nut. Paan supari is a must not only for chewing but also for offerings to our Gods in Hindu poojas.
    Thank you for sharing the interesting pictures and the arduous process of that which we just go and purchase effortlessly.

    1. Oh yeah, how could I forget that its offered to Gods.. Thank you Shivani, will update in the post..
      Thanks for dropping by..

  3. "Hey Meghana!
    These pics are really informative by themselves. Reading your blog takes me back to when I was old enough to have these and the utter fun in looting them from paan plates in weddings. Well written and thanks for sharing."

    1. Haha, thank you Aadarsh.. I rather looted the big sugar crystals from the paan plates.. Thank you for dropping by..