Varanasi is a melting pot of different cultures, traditions and customs. It has given Varanasi a unique food culture which is rare to be found in other cities. Also, its value as a pilgrimage city has also given a new dimension to culinary and cuisines of the city as all who comes to the city look for ethnic varieties or a longing for homely food which has given rise to number of restaurants and dhabas that offer you your loved variety of food.
People throng on shops that they feel to serve best food that they wish. Besides shops, restaurants and hotels there are local eateries, street shops and food vendors who serve you more than you desire not only with food but with all hospitality and a genuine friendly smile that is difficult to be found in age of professionalism.
There are a big number of foods and their fusions that gives all pleasure to your tongue as well as abdomen. Generally locals don’t eat out. They cook foods inside their houses. Some of common foods of Varanasi are listed below to make your choice more clear about what to eat and what not.
Some Glimpses of the delicious journey of Banaras
- Ram Bhandar, Kachori of Thatheri Bazar - Jalebi
- Laxmi Chai, Chowk's Malai Toast
- Vishwanath Chaat, Golgappa of Vishwanath Gali
- Sora kuaa Ki Hing Wali Kachoris
- Malandeo of Markandeya, Chowkhamba
- Kallu, Samosa-black gram of chowk, carrot pudding and pea chuda
- Sigra ka baati chokha
- Dina Chaat, Raja Darwaza's Tomato and Tikki
- Mochu, Jhalmudi of Chowk
- Laxman, Malaiyo of Bharatendu Bhavan
- Raswanti, Malai Gillouri of Thatheri Bazar
- Madhur Milan, Sigra Ka Lauglata (Cloves)
- Ramman Saw, Pandepur Gulab-Jamun
- Famous, red-peda Bhojubir of UP College
- Etc. ..... etc. ..... etc.
" Bah! I hav Raja Benaras "
Famous foods of Varanasi :
Besides typical North Indian foods like Chapati, Rice, Dals and vegetables there are Puris served with potato gravy, Kachori, Halwa, many flavours of Rayta, Dal fry, Sewai, Kheer, many kinds of Paratha, Dal Puri, Karhi and other stuffed foods.
Locally, puris are small rolled chapattis deep fried in oil or ghee. These are served with potato and tomato gravy or curries of different varieties. Puris are of different varieties made especiallyby stuffing boiled dal called dal-puri and alu (potato) that is alu-puri, meethi puri with sugar stuffed inside it. Almost on all places and temples of Varanasi puri-halwa prepared in gay ka ghee is offered and served as Prasad to devotees. Kachoris are puris with flavoured flour and spices. These are of many kinds. Not to miss, halwa is made of flour, sugar, dry fruits and other things that one wishes to add to it. Paratha come in a number of varities tikona paratha, gol paratha, lachhedar paratha, gobhi ka paratha, alu ka paratha so on. There is no home where kheer is not prepared. It’s deep boiled milk laced with dry fruits, cardamom and sugar. Kheer is offered to gods. It is written in many scriptures that kheer is a delicacy loved by many gods. Even Lord Buddha was served kheer by a woman called Sujata. Thus Kheer is a loved food by all Banarasis. Next on list is Bati Chokha. This is a food almost cooked in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Many of roadside eateries serve Bati Chokha to customers. This is a staple diet that can fulfil dietary needs of even most hungry on the roads of Benaras. Other foods include Dal-Pitthi which is being made of dal and small shapes made out of wheat or rice flour. Sometimes dal-pitthis are made by stuffing boiled dal inside flour shapes. These are very delicious.
There are other delicious food being prepared of rice and flour. There are number of pickles and crispy papad made in each and every house of Varanasi. To count some mango pickle, jackfruit pickle, lemon pickle, amla pickle and other pickles made of vegetables and roots. Papad are rolled with machines and hand. These are made of boiled rice, potatoes and starchy grains.
To add some more to foods of Benaras are drinks and soups prepared with fineness to cool or warm you up according to seasons. These include Lassi, Thandai, panna and sharbat in numerous flavours.
Finally Varanasi is a destination where no foodie could afford to miss local foods being served. After food never forget to eat Benaras ka Paan as mouth freshner.