Famous Banarasi Chaat You Must Indulge In While In Varanasi

Banaras, Benaras, Varanasi, or Kashi. Located on the holy bank of the River Ganga, this city (know by many names) is among the oldest ones not just in India but in the world. It is also among the crucial pilgrimage centres for Hindus. Kashi is its oldest name, and it has been mentioned in many ancient Indian texts.

It is the cultural centre for the followers of Lord Shiva. This city has seen the rise of many Indian poets, musicians, philosophers, and writers. While it is talked about for various reasons, being a hub for foodies tops the list. 

Video Credit: Chef Kunal Kapur/ YouTube

Recently the city was in the news because Nita Ambani visited the most revered Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, to extend the wedding invitation of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant to the Gods. It is a tradition among Hindus to extend the first invitation to Gods and Goddesses and seek their blessings. 

Post her visit to the temple, Nita Ambani was spotted relishing tomato chaat and tikki at a local but famous food joint in Varanasi. If you are planning to visit the city, go temple hopping, enjoy shipping, and glare at the horizon at a Ganga ghat, you should also add trying these varieties of Banarasi chaat to your itinerary. 

Aloo Tikki Chaat

For those who aren’t aware that Varanasi is in Uttar Pradesh, aloo tikki chaat is a must-try in the city. Places like Kashi Bandar are famous for selling mouth-watering plates of aloo tikki chaat. Crispy potato tikkis are served with hot and boiled chickpeas. The dish is garnished with curd, sour chutney, and spicy chutney. It is also topped with chopped onions and a pinch of chaat masala.

Kachori Sabzi

While kachori sabzi is a meal, it is a part of chaat in Uttar Pradesh. In some cities, it is sold as a part of breakfast spread along with jalebi, while in others, it is a part of tea-time snacks and often paired with tea. The dough is filled with a spiced mixture of dal or lentils and deep-fried. It is served with a spicy no garlic and onion gravy of tomatoes and potatoes. In Varanasi, it is consumed for breakfast along with dahi-jalebi.

Dahi Bhalla

Prepared with urad and moong lentils, bhallas are soft, gooey, and deep-fried chaat items. They are served with curd, chutneys, sev, and pomegranate seeds on the top. If you are in Varanasi, head to Ganesh Chaat Bhandar to enjoy dahi bhalla. The place is also famous for featuring aloo tikki and Indo-Chinese fusions that will cater to your cravings and satisfy your hunger.

Churra Chaat

Churmura, churra, murmura, or bhel are names for puffed rice. Kabir Chaura is the shop where you can enjoy guilt-free snacking with tea in the evening by ordering churra chaat. The puffed rice is tossed in a deep vessel with coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, and a few chopped vegetables. You can also enjoy pani puri and a variety of bhel puri at shops and other eateries in Kashi.

Tamatar Chaat

Among a variety of chaat dishes available in Varanasi, tamatar (tomato) chaat is the most unique and unmissable for gastronomes. Tangy tomatoes are chopped and tossed with onions, green chillies, lemon juice, and coriander leaves. A spices and chaat masala make this dish drool-worthy. Each bite will lead to an explosion of flavours in your mouth. 

Image Credit: Chef Kunal Kapur

Samosa Chaat

While most chaat corners in cities of Uttar Pradesh sell samosa, there are a few eateries in Varanasi selling samosa chaat. The process is quite simple. Crumble hot samosa on a plate and top it with diluted curd, sweet tamarind and coriander chutneys, pomegranate seeds, sev, and a sprinkle of chaat masala. You get sweet, spicy, salty, and sour notes in every bite. 

Palak Patta Chaat

Palak patta chaat is a must-have in Kashi, especially at Kashi Chaat Bhandar. Fresh leaves of spinach are dipped in the spiced gram flour batter and deep-fried until crispy. The leaves are then topped with curd, tangy chutney, and chaat masala. This simple but unique and nutritious dish will leave you wanting for more.

Image Credit: Chef Kunal Kapur