Varanasi has been a center of attraction for centuries. It is not only a geographical location. Rather, it’s a living specimen depicting the key concepts of human existence i.e. Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Apart from these larger-than-life concepts, it has been the focal point of gourmet food.
The street food here is flavorful, colorful, and old school as well. It contains the essence of the vast culture and tradition we have been living by. This article narrates about one of the oldest and a pure Banarasi cuisine, which has remained pious and contains no variation. It is none other than the “Tamatar Chaat”
Tamatar Chaat is entirely the Banarasi variant of chaat. Initially, tamatar chaat was offered for sale at the very old and famous shop “Keshari Deenanath Chaat Bhandar, Chowk”. Tamatar chaat is an astounding combination of flavorful tanginess along with a tinge of sweetness. There is no alternative or substitute for its taste. You can pounce upon the opportunity to relish it only when you are in Varanasi.
Making of Tamatar Chaat
The preparation for Tamatar Chaat requires the following steps and ingredients. It is prepared on an iron griddle (Tawa) on which a spoonful of ghee is heated (quantity varies accordingly). Then they add asafetida (heeng), finely chopped ginger, and green chilies and fry it well. Then they add all the powdered spices which include roasted cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, garam masala powder, red chili powder, dry mango powder and black salt as per taste(phew…I hope I didn’t miss any). Then they add freshly chopped tomatoes along with tomato puree and cook until it’s pulpy. They also add poppy seeds paste. Other than that it also includes the basic chaat ingredients i.e. mashed potatoes and white peas in it.
This ultimately transforms into a semi-dry mix. It is served in an earthen cup. They add a spoon full of ghee and sugar syrup on top of that hot steaming mixture. They also sprinkle chopped coriander and squeeze a little lemon juice. This adds a heavenly texture to this snack. Also, it is garnished with a little sev and a crushed golgappa and served hot. In some places, you might also find paneer cubes in it.
Best Place to have Tamatar Chaat in Varanasi
The price per plate costs 35Rs only. Although “Tamatar Chaat” is sold in almost every street but I would definitely recommend visitors and tourists to pay a visit to “Keshri Deenanath Chaat Bhandar” in Chowk and try out this lip-smacking snack for sure.
If you’d like to explore and taste more of street food from Kashi then check out top 10 places to eat street food in Varanasi.