This Unique Tamatar Ki Chaat Is Something That You Will Only Find In The City Of Banaras
Image Credit: This authentic tangy chaat is hard to find anywhere apart from Banaras.

The oldest inhabited city of the country, Banaras has been called by several names like Kashi and  present-day Varanasi. If you have a slightly faint idea about the city, you would be aware of the spiritual reputation of this part of the country. The maha aartis  (grand holy celebrations) are a highlight when priests and people alike, head to the ghats to hail the Lord on river Ganga. Situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh, it is quite unlikely that it wouldn’t have a special street fare like all other cities of this state. 

From golgappas to kachoris and dahi vadas, the Banarasi streets are filled with options galore. Chaat is one primary component of the street food edition across the country. Did you know that chaat was introduced to us during the Mughal era in order to cure a cholera outbreak? Yes, it was used as a medicinal method to treat contaminated water of Yamuna during the reign of Shahjahan. For the unversed, chaat is a mix of several ingredients put together on a plate (or traditionally a dona) and can be a combination of a variety of things like chaat papdi and more. The chatpata taste lends the dish its name which also means ‘to lick’. 

Now that we’ve established what chaat is all about, you must be intrigued to know what Banaras has to offer? Well, it has got a unique tamatar ki chaat to its fame which can only be found on the streets of this city. As the name suggests, the core ingredient of the chaat is tamatar aka tomatoes. The birth of this chaat took place in the 1900s when a man named Deena Nath Kesari started selling tamatar ki chaat along with some kachoris and more on the streets of the busy bazaars of Banaras. Since his chaats were a hit among the people, he setup his own stall and gradually moved on to open two outlets by the name of Deena Chaat Bhandar in the city. 

What makes this tangy chaat so special is the fact that it is served hot. Along with tomatoes, some boiled potatoes and spices are added to the chaat with a touch of poppy seeds. To give it a khatta flavour, imly (tamarind) water is also mixed. Wait, it isn’t over yet! The final surprise lies in the plating when the sugar syrup is poured over the chaat along with crushed namak paras or sev. Sprinkle some lime juice for the zest and the crunchy yet tangy chaat is ready. 

The famous Chaat Bhandar serves it in a kulhad but today you’ll find several small stalls in every nook and corner of the city, preparing this delicious treat. So are you ready to try the complex flavours of the authentic tamatar ki chaat? Here’s a recipe we dug out for you.