Varanasi Breakfast Specials: 5 Lip-Smacking Dishes You Must Try
Image Credit: Chana Jhol Kachori

Located on the banks of the Ganga river in the northern part of the country, Varanasi is a city of pilgrimage and sanctity in the heart of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from religious and spiritual significance, the city is well-known for its street food fare. The preparation for deep-fried crunchy bites for breakfast begins early in the morning, as the small street shops open up their windows to the hungry patrons.

It isn’t always about elaborate meals, but small nibbles available in every nook and corner of the city that make Varanasi an ideal food hub. While there are many breakfast spots and bhandars waiting for you to grab a bite of their popular delicacies, you can make Banarasi-style breakfast at home too? How, you ask? Well, here are a few Varanasi breakfast special recipes for you to devour this week.  

1.  Kachori With Aloo Sabzi

Kachori, for the unversed, is a circular puff pastry made with maida and filled with dal and other spices. Deep-fried until it turns golden-brown, the kachoris are often paired with chutney for snacks. However, to make it a complete breakfast meal, kachoris are accompanied by a spicy potato curry called aloo sabzi. Break the kachori, dip it in the sabzi and enjoy.  

 2.   Safed Makhan Toast

While this dish is quite self-explanatory, it is a delightful nashta on the streets of Varanasi. All you need is some freshly-churned white butter and a slice of bread. The bread is a locally-sourced variety that is toasted on a coal oven, before being slathered with melted white butter. To this, some chaat masala or sugar is added and the sweet, creamy and tangy flavours are paired with a cup of chai.  

3.   Choora Matar  

Banaras’ special choora matar can be easily found at almost every street stall in the city. A local version of poha, a breakfast staple in many parts of the country, this choora matar is made with flattened rice soaked in oodles of ghee. After stirring it for a while, fresh green peas are added along with spices. To add richness to the dish, raisins, cream and saffron are added too and it is served with a cup of hot tea. It also doubles up as a light winter snack. 

4.   Chenna Dahi Vada

Have you tried dahi vada before? For the uninitiated, it is a combination of crispy, fried balls covered in copious amounts of freshly-whipped curd aka dahi. While dahi vada gets its name from the ingredients used, similarly the Banarasi version gives the dish a twist with the addition of chenna aka paneer. The vada is made with chenna and tastes like rasmalai. The curd is sweetened before being poured on it and the dish is finished off with jeera powder, red chilli powder and tamarind chutney. Garnish with fried boondi. 

5.   Chana Jhol Kachori

The name itself suggests that there’s some jhol (hidden loophole) in this kachori. Well, the addiction to these mini kachoris found outside Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the city is proof enough of the delectable jhol that the makers are doing. Filled with potatoes, the bite-sized kachoris are covered in chana (chickpea) masala, tamarind and mint-coriander chutney and topped with sliced onions.