Mark Twain once said, “Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together!” People often say that arriving in Varanasi can be a little overwhelming and divine. You will be greeted by chaos, colours, spirituality and the feeling of stepping back in time. Varanasi is India’s oldest city, located along the banks of the famous River Ganges. It is indeed a wonderful city located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, in North East India. Once you step in here, you can breathe and experience the ages that the city has seen. From one street to another it looks like a maze which opens your visions to the newer windows of cultural diversity, spirituality and surprises you with what it has to offer. You will be surprised to know an example which proves the diversity of this place. I had one of my best Dosas ( a south Indian dish) and Chole kulche (Punjabi dish) in this heart city of north India. It’s more like a museum of human history, cultures and diversity.
I truly wish to share my experience of visiting to this holy city which has so much to offer other than spirituality. I visited this place during winters and the experience was overwhelming. Bringing to you few of the very special food joints which are not any 5 star restaurants but are so authentic and real that it makes you experience being a common man in a true sense.
Know More about Spiritual Places in India
Chachi ki dukan at Lanka is famous for the very motherly old lady who was fondly called Chachi (aunty). It is said that this chachi used to make delicious kachori-sabzi and jalebis and serve it hot and fresh to the customers, straight from the utensils to the plate. As the story of the past says, while serving the food to people she used to scold and use some harsh words but it used to have love and blessings in abundance like that from a mother. People used to get reminded of “Chachi ki kachori” whenever they used to miss the love and food of home.
Coming back to present, this shop is all about a small team of Chachi’s family members who are carrying forth the legacy that she made. They are now running this family business after chachi has left for an heavenly abode. Her family members churn out mouth watering subzi and hot crisp kachoris on one side and hot crisp, syrup dripping jalebis on the other side of a small cramped shop. They serve it with the same love and the ‘kachori-sabzi’ is made with the same recipe that chachi used to use many years ago.
This shop is well known in Varanasi and it is located at Lanka which is the ‘mall road’ equivalent, situated in front of the BHU (Banaras Hindu University) gate. Explaining in detail, here you would find all sorts of fancy restaurants, roadside food stalls and bookshops or student utility shops all in one place. The end of this road branches into three roads leading to Saamne ghat, Nagwa and Sankatmochan temple road. Once you will walk towards Sankatmochan road you will see twin shops of kachori and jalebi right at the start of the road which look almost the same. The one that has more people waiting in que is the very famous Chachi’s kachori shop . If you are in Varanasi then do not miss to experience this ‘benarasi breakfast’ which is tempting and full of love.
A tiny, hole-in-the-wall yoghurt shop that has been making the freshest, creamiest, fruit-filled and flavoured lassies since 1925.
Let me now introduce you to the very famous lassi shop in Varanasi, a joint which has been serving up the same recipes for three generations or for over 90 years. The owner himself sits there making lassi in the same spot his father once did, and his father did before him. While the process has been passed down through the generations, Blue Lassi has lived up to it’s position with flying colours and expanded its menu to 83 flavours and varieties of Lassi. The best part is each flavour is made fresh by hand right in front of you. You will have plenty of options to customise and create your own blend. In the shop there are pictures of Old Grandpa Lassi, who started the whole thing, as well as heartfelt messages and photos left by travelers from all over the world.
While many modern lassis are now whisked up in a blender – ‘Blue Lassi’ still crushes the fruits by hand and use a big wooden stick to finally prepare it in a steel handi (utensil). To the fruit they then add homemade yoghurt, a little sugar and finally they add the heavenly ‘malai’ cream which forms as a thick layer on the top of this heavenly drink. The finished product is lastly garnished with all the trimmings of baby pistachios and is served in a traditional clay bowl. It all makes Blue Lassi well worth the visit.
I tried the black grape flavoured lassi which the owner of the shop insisted it to be one of his most demanded flavours. To my experience it was mild, creamy, earthy and delicious. The malai added on top gave it a creamy texture, thick enough to eat with a wooden spoon and almost the right consistency to glug. If you’re in the market for an impressive milk moustache, then it is the perfect drink for you;). I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find a better lassi-wallah in the city than Blue Lassi.￼￼
I could give you directions, a map and even the address of this place, but it probably wouldn’t help you in Varanasi. Just head for the old city and the burning ghats, delve into the network of alleyways and you’ll soon pick up sign boards for Blue Lassi Shop, which has to be the most well-signposted shop in Varanasi.
Any fan of Indian food, or in fact anyone with taste buds must try these eating joints in Varanasi! This place truly has a lot to offer apart from spirituality and holy places.
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