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A trip to Varanasi feels bland if you don’t explore the fiery flavours of Deena Chat Bhandar’s famed tamatar chaat.
A Foodie’s Pilgrimage
Varanasi is a revered place for many reasons. One of them is its soul-winning food. And when it comes to street food, Deena Chat Bhandar tops every must-go-to list. You’ll get to savour a myriad of chaats here, but its most famous offering is the tamatar chaat. It has two outlets, both situated in Varanasi’s food hotspots – Dashashwamedh Ghat and Chowk. Deena Chat Bhandar has been wowing people since 5 decades and things haven’t changed a bit.
Deena Nath Kesari started it in the late ’60s and sold tamatar chaat, tikki-dahi and kachori-dahi on a small khomcha (a portable stall carried on the head). People eagerly awaited his arrival every evening as he visited the streets of Luxa Bazaar. It is the same area where one of the shops stands now and is run by his grandson, Atul Kesari. Over time, it has grown from being a travelling food stall to a place with seating arrangements at the bigger Luxa Bazaar outlet. While they serve patrons for over 6 hours every evening, they have also started accepting party orders.
There’s never a dull moment at Deena Chat Bhandar. It is always overflowing with locals and foreigners alike who all want a bite of its legendary yumminess. The recipe that lends it all its flavours is, however, a family secret. One that they have selectively shared with renowned chefs Ranveer Brar and Sanjeev Kapoor. That too, because they wished to create a fusion version of their tamatar chaat for TV viewers. What we do know, from word-of-mouth, is that the magic of this mashed tomato preparation lies its gravy. Painstakingly prepared over several hours, it includes dried fruits, mustard oil, desi ghee, lime juice and jaggery.
Undoubtedly, the tamatar chat deserves the pedestal position. But there are many other chat preparations that mesmerise the palate. Try their chhole-tikki, palak-patta chaat (prepared with a dash of dahi and chutney and served with Gulab Jamun) and choora-matar. Or bite into the deliciousness of their aloo tikki, paapdi chaat and gol gappe. The recent addition of Chinese treats to their menu gives you that much more variety.
Deena Chat Bhandar is one of those places you can never have enough of. Whether you share a table with other guests or stand beside the giant wok, one stop here turns the foodie in you into its devotee.
Address: Deena Nath Chaat Bhandaar, Hanuman Mandir, Ramapura Luxa Rd, Luxa, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001
Contact: +91 94158 01051
Cost: Rs.150 approx. For Two