Culture, temples, ghats, Ganga aarti, rich traditions; these are some of the words that instantly pops up in our mind when someone mentions ‘Banaras’. Also we are reminded of what once Mark Twain told about the city, “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”
But apart from all these, the holy city of lord Shiva has got something more. There’s something special in its air along with the pleasant smell of burning incense sticks that testifies the holiness of the city.
We are talking about Banarasi cuisines.
Read on to find out more about the exclusive gastronomic delights of the city.
Beware!Your taste buds might get activated
Banarasi paan: From Bollywood stars to the local boy, everyone can go gaga over this. Banarasi paan is actually one of the best things that have ever happened to the Banarasis. Royal, fresh, a paan is prepared by rolling betel leaves along with different spices, to freshen up your mouth along with your mood.
Mallaiyo: A winter delight; Mallaiyos are exclusively found here in Banaras. Prepared from milk, this dessert simply melts in your mouth as soon you consume it. Its awesome taste can’t be put down in words.
Tamatar chaat: Taste once and we can assure that you would fall in love with this spicy, sour and sweet dish, meant not just to satisfy your taste buds but also your mind and soul too. Yes! They are actually so tasty!
Kachauri-Sabzi: There can’t be anything better than having these to kick start an awesome day. The mouth watering ‘Kachauris’ are prepared primarily from wheat flour. A little bit of asfoetida and nigella are mixed with the dough to make it more delicious. After crisp frying the Kachauris are served hot with ‘Sabzi’ or cooked seasonal vegetables.
‘Litti-chokha’ or ‘Bati-chokha’: Ask about something healthier and heavy to eat, the Banarasi’s would instantly recommend you to have ‘Bati-chokha’. While Bati or litti is made up of wheat flour, baked directly before stuffing them with spicy gram flour, chokha is prepared by mashing up brinjal, boiled potatoes and some spices. Irresistible combo, isn’t?
‘Jalebi’: A spiral fried batter made up of fermented refined flour, dipped in sugar syrup. Jalebis can be considered to be the essential complimentary to Kachauri-sabzi. If you have a sweet tooth than jalebis would make you fall in love with them.
Laung-Lata: Another delight for the sweet lovers. Every sweetmeat seller here would literally boast that these are as sweet as the people of Banaras.
So, next time you visit Banaras, do taste each one of the above and experience India like never before.
Santu Patra & Saurabh Tiwari