Chaandi ka Varq

Shimmering with gold or silver tops are seen various desserts at mithai~sweet shops in India. The stunning embellishments are actually butterfly-wings like delicate edible silver, called as Chaandi ka Varq meaning Silver leaf; the gold leafs are called as Soney ka Varq. Varq-also pronounced as warq, vark, varkh, varaq, varak, is an Urdu word which means ‘leaf’. Chaandi ka Varq is most commonly used. These very fragile foils are lustrous, with no aroma or taste, but perfectly edible and are used as a garnish for sweets (mithai), supari (betel nut), paan (betel-leaf), and fruits in India.

Chaandi ka Varq~
it is usually sold stacked in between local telephone directory pages

Making these delicate adornments involves a backbreaking job. Prepared with great caution in workshops in India, usually in Ahmadabad, Lucknow, Delhi and Hyderabad, minute nuggets of silver or gold are placed between tissue paper and placed in leather pouch and beaten repeatedly with a heavy hammer until it becomes a dainty leaf fit to adorn the tops of Indian desserts or biryani, kawabs etc. They are available very easily in India at most stores and at most leading Indian stores outside of India.

Sooji ka Halwa~Semolina Dessert, adorned with Chaandi ka Varq~Silver leaf

To use as a garnish, hold the paper with the silver leaf and carefully invert and dab onto the surface of food while it is still warm so that the the silver sticks to the food as you peel away the paper.

Head over here to go through the process in brief.


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7 Responses to “Chaandi ka Varq”

  1. I would love to use them for desserts or Biriyani but I have read that it is not good for health may be because there are fake ones in the market. Not sure though.

    Cilantro, yes I have heard that. I have even heard that consumption of precious metals is considered to be a sovereign remedy by Unani and Ayurvedic practitioners.
    I think that as these things are consumed in minuscule quantities and very occasionally, it shouldn’t really matter. ~Mona

  2. Its has been ages i used varq in my cooking…beautiful silver leaf..

  3. Nice Post!!

  4. There is a test to separate fake varq from real ones. If you take one varq in the palm of your left hand and rub it with a right hand finger for a minute then if it’s real varq it disappears, if its fake it rolls into small balls. small balls show that it has aluminium in it and can be harmful for health.

    Naziya, thanks for letting us know. ~Mona

  5. I was aware of gold leaf but not silver leaf; how interesting Mona thanks for the info

    Joumana, are these leaves also made in Beirut? I am interested to know.
    By the way, I didn’t still get your invitation on Facebook. Did you sent me? Thanks. ~Mona

  6. Rashid Omer Says:

    Please write something about Lasa and Lamsa chai; how the flavor is added and is it risky to use this tea?

    Brother Rashid Omer, Inshallah I will. ~Mona

  7. good…but what is facebooook

    Nishat, facebook is a social networking website. ~Mona

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