Friday, September 6, 2013

In search of good food Benaras - Part 1

"Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together!" - Mark Twain
Ever wonder,what did it took Mark Twain to write this ? 
Well, not unless you have been to Benaras/Kashi/Varanasi.
The welcome that you get @ d main railway station is no indication of what is in store for you.
Benaras has a lot to offer, each year more and more tourists flock to this city..
It is unique to experience a paradox in this city, its spirituality,its folk, and the flavors 

Each evening, Devotees gather at the "dasaswamedh ghat" to watch the Ganga aarti, 
which generally takes place at 6:30 PM.
Unlike Haridwar where you have a a huge no of tourists and you jostle for space to sit.
Its much calmer at Benares.

Talking about the food, the staple breakfast consists of Benaras, is its Kachori-Sabzi -Jalebi. Unlike other parts of India, Kachori here ,resembles more of a Puri 
   While what we call kachori in other parts of the country is known as Khasta

What can better complement Kachori-Sabzi than hot Jalebis.
The sight of hot jalebis being made ,makes everyone drool !!

We visit the tea corner (chai wala) close to Vishnu Ghat to have chai at a small ttapri.
Famous amongst the locals for its masala special chai..
Do not miss out the enhanced flaovr of the tea in the earthen pot(kullad).
Use and throw kullahds, broken after the first use. 
The taste if the tea in those is pure ecstasy.

We head to the Sigra(part of the city in Varanasi) where we are directed to the best 
Bati-Chokha in town.
Benaras has a huge fan following of these roadside makeshift eateries.

Baati, as it is called here, is similar to Litti served with ghee. 
It is served with Chokha, which is a mix of mashed potatoes,brinjal and Tomatoes.
 This is spiced with right mix of spices and Mustard oil.

The sight of baati chokha served in a dry leaf bowl, still takes me back on that sunny afternoon, when we had this amazing dish served with all love and affection..

Close to this place in Sigra is the famous, Raju Lunch corner, which serves delicious chole chawal(rice with chickpea curry)

Simple yet tasty preparation.
          The masala is just right and aptly garnished with Onion and Coriander with a dash of lime

Benares is also famous for its Thandai. 
Most of us might have had the Thandai at home or at some other part of the country.
But I can bet this is a taste changing experience 
 Do not hesitate over the gracious serving of cream and dry fruits for the perfect flavor.
There are many shops around the corner of Vishwanath temple,
     the most prominent one Mishrambu.. 
You can never miss the hustle bustle of the city around its corner while your thandai is prepared with dollops of cream and dry fruits.. 
Its a Must visit ,we insist one must take the packs of thandai mix for the perfect shot at home

More things to come in this series in Benaras.. stay tuned..

1 comment:

  1. Spiritual City Banaras...Ultimate description of Food & culture of Banaras...