Varanasi is believed to be an ancient city established by Hindu Lord Shiva. Varanasi is not only famous for ghats and temples, but it is famous for its delicious street food as well. Even if you choose not to try the local specialty of this city, you will find lots of cafes and restaurants serving a variety of Indian as well as international cuisines, which you must try if you visit Varanasi.
So, here are the top 15 must-try street foods of Varanasi:
Malaiyyo is one of the unique street foods of Varanasi; you can go anywhere else in India and try to find this food item, but it is impossible you will get the same. Malaiyyo falls under the category of desserts, yet this dish is so light and airy that eating it doesn’t feel like one is eating a sweet dish.
2. Banarasi Paan
Banarasi paan is famous all over India for its rich taste. Even Bollywood songs have been written about this famous paan. It is made by stuffing paan leaves with kiwam, rose chutney, baba chutney, betel nut, and many other ingredients. One must definitely try this Banarasi paan during their visit to Varanasi.
3. Kachori Sabzi
Kachori sabzi is famous as a breakfast dish of Varanasi. The kachori is stuffed with either masala aloo or daal ki pithi and is served with spicy aloo sabzi. The combination of kachori with sabzi is a twist in taste.
4. Makkhan Toast
An early morning breakfast of Makkhan Toast with kullhad chai is a great way to start your day. Sliced bread is toasted in a coal oven, freshly-made white or yellow butter is spread over it, and a pinch of chaat masala is spread over it to give it a salty taste.
Launglata is a sweet dish that is usually prepared during the festival of Holi, but you can easily find it on the streets of Varanasi all throughout the year. Launglata is made of a crispy covering of pastry dough stuffed with mawa, nuts, and sugar and fried and soaked in flavored sugar syrup.
6. Baati Chokha
Baati Chokha is one of the famous dishes of Bihar, but you can find it easily on the streets of Varanasi. Baati is made of wheat dough, stuffed with masala sattu, and is served with chokha, which is a mixture of baked brinjal, boiled potatoes, tomatoes, and spices for taste.
7. Chana Dahi Bada
Chana dahi bada is basically made of deep-fried bada made from chana and is soaked in thick, beaten, sweet yogurt. It is then garnished with masala, crushed black pepper, and coriander leaves, among other things.
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You can find the best lassi drink at Ramnagar in Varanasi, right outside the Ramnagar fort. Blue lassi is famous in Varanasi for its unique taste and flavor. It comes with a thick layer of delicious rabdi on top of it.
9. Masala Chai
If you visit the ghats of Varanasi, it is impossible to come out without trying the masala chai sold by the local tea sellers there. It is unique and delicious as compared to any other chai. While it is not a street food item, but because of its uniqueness to the region, one can include it in the list of famous street food items of Varanasi.
10. Cold Coffee
If you visit Banaras Hindu University campus and go to Vishwanath Temple, you cannot resist trying cold coffee. It is a very popular item sold at small stalls at a mere price of INR 25.
11. Chola Samosa
Chola samosa is unique because of its combination; wherever you go, you will find samosa with chai, but in Varanasi, samosa is sold with a perfect pairing of thick chola gravy. This is also a famous food item of Varanasi, but the one inside BHU (Banaras Hindu University) is more delicious and famous.
12. Tamatar Chaat
Banaras has its own version of chaat, which is made with spicy tomatoes, and you can find this only here in Varanasi. It is made with tomatoes mixed with hing, pounded ginger, green and red chilies with the addition of boiled potatoes.
13. Gol Gappe With Dahi Chutney
You can find this Dahi Chutney Gol Gappe uniquely in Varanasi. It is also known as Meethe Gol Gappe. This offers both a spicy and sweet flavor of chutney. It is common to eat 7-8 of these thin tiny gol gappe at a time.
14. Chooda Matar
Chooda matar is basically a Banarasi version of Poha made with flattened rice soaked in ghee and fried with fresh green matar and a variety of spices. To give added flavor, you can add cream, milk, coriander, and saffron as well.
Bundiya is a special sweet dish made during festivals or pujas and is served as a prasad in most of the temples in Varanasi. They are tiny balls made of gram flour, fried and soaked in flavored sugar syrup, making them extremely sweet and juicy.
You ought to visit Banaras at least once in your life to experience the complexities of this city, from ghats to temples to this unique street food.
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