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The Scrumptious Street Food Scene In Varanasi

Varanasi, also called Kashi is the ultimate pilgrimage for Hindus.  Hordes of people come here to bath in the Holy Ganges.  One little fact which the locals like to announce to the world about this city’ s distinct street food.  Let’s us check out the tongue tantalizing street food in Varanasi.

One point to note about Street Food and Cuisine in general of Varanasi is that it is influenced by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal Cuisine as also the cuisine of its Muslim inhabitants.  Milk and Ghee (clarified butter) are available in plenty and most of the dishes have either or both as ingredients.

Here are a few of the many delectable Street foods of Varanasi

Choora Matar

Choora Matar has influences of Maharashtrian and Bihari breakfast food. It is made with soaked Puha added to desi ghee, green peas, saffron, raisins… sometimes pepper and garam masala.  Seek no onions inside this dish though.

Search for this dish at Gopal Mandir Gali

Thandai

Thandai is seasonal fruit puree topped with Rabdi, rose essence, cardamom, and saffron.  Sometimes bhang is added to it.

Malaiyyo

This is a Sweet dish made with cream of milk and saffron.

Meethe Golgappe with Dahi Chutney

This Street Food specialty contains smashed potatoes with tangy chutney of tamarind. It is garnished with sev and pomegranate.   

Tamaatar chaat

Ingredients for Tamaatar chaat are boiled potatoes, tomatoes, onion green chilly, pounded ginger, garam masala and red chili powder.  Beware! It is said to be high on spice.

Specialists of this dish: Deena Chat Bhandar and joints at Dashaswamedh road

Chena Dahi vada

Bhallas or vadas are lentil based.  This particular dish is served with yogurt that is spiced with jeera and black salt. Try both sweet and sour flavors of this dish. 

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Kachori

There are two varieties of the famous fried dish

  • Badi – kachori with lentils
  • Choti – potatoes mashed

Most Kashi Locals  visit  Kachori Gali, Ram Bhandar Thattheri baazar to taste the most amazing Kachoris in the city.  Another Famous joint is Chachi ki kachori near Banaras Hindu gate that serves crisp kachoris with water subjis.

Baati Choka

A Street Food from Bihar that  Varanasi has adopted is Baati choka.  It has Wheat balls stuffed with channa dal( gram dal) and Spices that are roasted and topped with a dash of Ghee (called Litties or Baati) served with Choka potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant(Brinjal) spicy mix.

It is packed with nutrients such as carbohydrates, calcium vitamins and protein

Fish for this dish at: Puran Das road

Jalebi

Jalebis taste sweeter in Varanasi because they float in Rabri.  Try this specialty and you are hooked to it forever.

Chai

Milk is of high quality in Varanasi, will the chai flavor be far behind?  This city is famous for its ginger tea, lemon tea and more

Where? Assi Ghat and Lakhsmi chai toast at Chowk Varanasi

Banarasi Paan

Leaving Varanasi without Paan??  This is ridiculous! 

It has even been immortalized by the film song pictured on the legendary Amitabh Bachchan  “Kayike Paan, Banaras Wala…”. 

You need not even have health concerns eating this paan, as it has no tobacco content, only rose petals, supari, fennel, lime and other condiments.

Check out Banaras Paan At: Rajendra Chauraia Paan, chok thana, Tambul Bhandar Dashsashwamedh Ghat and Keshav Tambul, Ravidas Gate.

Lassi

Creamy Lassi anybody?

Check out fresh creamy flavored Lassies,  about 83 varieties of them at Bangali Tola, Pahalwan Lassi Bhandar at Lanka and Chowk

Pizza

Pizzas in an old city?  Yes, even Varanasi entertains this modern fast food in its narrow lanes.  Check some amazing pizzas at the Riverside café.

There are more! Transverse the narrow streets of this ancient city and you will find all the flavors there are that can scandalize your taste buds and scare away your diet concerns to the corners of your brain.

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Featured Photo of ‘Day 14- Jalebi’ by Sriharsha under CC BY-SA 2.0

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