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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Sample Varanasi’s street food delights

Sample street snacks from the city’s best vendors, including the Banaras samosa, kathai biscuits and bathi choka…

By Jeremy 'Jai' Oltmann
Founder of Varanasi Walks

Get a taste of Varanasi’s diverse street food on this walking tour with a local guide. Although the city doesn’t have its own distinctive cuisine, what makes it special is that it’s been derived from communities that hail from all over India, complete with Arabic and Mughal influences. Sample street snacks from the city’s best vendors, including a Banaras samosa from an eatery that dates back to 1882 and kachori, a typical breakfast made from wheat flour and chickpea paste, served with chutney.

Highlights of the tour include kathai biscuits and bathi choka, a chickpea-infused roasted bread soaked in ghee, often cooked on a cow-dung fire which gives it a smoky flavour. Many dishes are seasonal, such as the poha they make in Varanasi, puffed rice that’s mixed with peas in the winter so it turns green. We usually stop at Deena Chat Bhandar, a little 10-seater restaurant that’s been going for over five decades which serves a huge variety of savoury chaats.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, there’s plenty of mithai, milk-based treats on offer, as well as creamy malaiyyo, a kind of summery lassi made of saffron-flavoured churned milk. At each stop, I’ll show you what makes this particular vendor unique – it could be their chutney recipe or how they pour their tea – it’s these little insights and intricacies that make each place special. At the end of the tour, we have a sit-down meal where we can sample different dishes and chat about the whole experience.

Categories

  • Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Trips to take

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Jeremy 'Jai' Oltmann

Jeremy 'Jai' Oltmann hails from Minneapolis, USA, and has lived in India since 1997. After working among marginalised communities in New Delhi he studied Hindi language and completed a Bachelor of Social Work. While overseeing a study abroad program in Varanasi, Jai developed VaranasiWalks which explores the city's hidden lanes and sacred sites. Jai is also a yoga teacher and Master of Sociology.
Jeremy Oltmann, Varanasi Walks