Banarasi Palangtod

One of the most fascinating winter sweets of Kashi is the centuries - old palangtod that literally translates to bed breaker! Though the name makes one laugh out loud, its taste will definitely leave you speechless. Known to be an expensive sweet because of the time, effort and labour involved, this sweet has been given the... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Khajur (Thekua)

Thekua or khajur as it is known in Uttar Pradesh is a traditional deep - fried sweet offered as prasad during Chhath Puja, Saraswati Puja and Navaratri. Though the dish originated in Bihar, it is now hugely popular in Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh.   Thekua is made from wheat, jaggery or sugar, desi ghee, spices and nuts. It has a... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Doodh Peda

A delicious milk sweet of Kashi that has been served as prasad in most of the temples for centuries is the humble doodh peda. Made from full fat milk that is in abundance in Varanasi and Ghazipur districts and areas around the Ganga River, this simple milk innovation is hugely popular among locals and visitors and makes... Continue Reading →

Banaras Lal Peda

Kashi's most iconic milk sweet is the centuries-old Lal Peda that has been praised to the hilt by travellers, food connoisseurs and historians. This traditional dairy product of Kashi is offered as prasad in the Kaal Bhairav Temple, Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple.   In the olden days, the abundance of milk in the... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Tirangi Barfi

One of the most iconic and celebrated sweets of Kashi is Tirangi Barfi. Also known as Rashtriya Barfi, this unique creation is the handiwork of Shri Raghunath Das Gupta of Shree Ram Bhandar in Thatheri Bazar.   The British from the late 1700s right up to the mid - 1940s had managed to successfully loot the ancient... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Aloo Tikki

One of the best chaats of Varanasi is its very own stuffed aloo tikki served at Kashi Chat Bhandar. This delicious chaat is unbelievably flavoursome with a bit of everything - crunch, spice and wholesomeness.   Potatoes are first boiled and divided into two portions. One portion is grated when hot and mixed together with... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Jalebi

The traditional breakfast of the ancient city of Kashi is the piping hot puri sabzi, kachori and droolworthy jalebi! Interestingly, the lightly spiced raswale aloo sabzi with greasy puris followed by kachori served with chana, meethi chutney and hari chutney and topped off with sinfully sweet jalebis (normal serving is four in a plate) really hits the spot!   The batter is made by... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Dahi Bhalla

Dahi bhalla with an overwhelming flavour of bada elaichi and adarak is a delightful innovation of Kashi. Also known as dahi pakodi or dahi vada or dahi gujiya, this vada made from urad dal makes its appearance in almost all festivals and celebrations.   A certain measure of urad dal (sometimes moong dal) is rinsed and soaked overnight. It... Continue Reading →

History of the Prachin Shiv Mandir at Agra – Part II (The Myth of the Taj Mahal)

Since the ancient times, it has been the practice of Hindu kings to assiduously follow the tenets as laid down in the Shilpa Shastra while building forts, palaces, mansions, temples and dharmashalas. Traditionally, these grand structures were built along river banks, seashores or lakes to observe the obligatory rites and rituals of the Hindu scriptures.  ... Continue Reading →

History of the Prachin Shiv Mandir at Agra – Part I (The Myth of the Taj Mahal)

Lazy and uninformed "historians" of Indian (commissioned by the British Raj) and British origin have done an outstanding job for over three centuries to whitewash our glorious Hindu heritage and relegate the contributions of our valorous Hindu kings to obscurity. A concerted effort to prevent one from learning about Hinduism, the oldest civilization in the... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Rabri

Rabri is the quintessential Indian dessert that makes it appearance in every festival and celebration across the country. Rabdi is arguably the most popular sweet in India and best enjoyed in the holy cities of Banaras and Prayagraj.   The sweetmakers of both these cities still adopt the traditional methods to churn out these sinfully... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Lassi

Prayagraj lassi, an irresistible combination of creamy goodness and delicious richness is a signature dessert of the holy city. This lassi is deemed to be on par with the legendary Banarasi lassi in terms of taste, quality and ingenuity.   In fact, only a true Banarasi or Prayagrajvaasi can correctly identify the subtle differences in the preparation of... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Soan Papdi

Soan papdi, the very name invokes a multitude of emotions ranging from dread to resignation to amusement to desperation. Undoubtedly, India's most hated sweet that makes its appearance in every festive season. The unwanted yet expected and convenient guest that plays musical chairs in every social and religious function. At the end of the festive... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Biryani

Prayagraj biryani, rated second-best in India after your grandmother's is an integral component of one's daily diet in the holy city. This traditional delicacy of India is a complex dish of wholesome delicious and flavoursome goodness.   Biryani is still prepared in the age-old method of slow cooking with almost all the ingredients procured locally. It... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Dahi Bhalla

A hugely popular street food of Prayagraj and pretty much the whole of North India is the deliciously creamy dahi bhalla. Also known as dahi pakodi or dahi vada or dahi gujiya, this vada made from urad dal makes its appearance in almost all festivals and celebrations.   It is perhaps the excellent quality milk and curd of Prayagraj... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Dahi Jalebi

A droolworthy Prayagraj delicacy that is commonly had as breakfast is dahi jalebi! Yes, dahi jalebi in Prayagraj is more of a breakfast item than a dessert or a snack and is relished by locals and visitors.   Interestingly, dahi jalebi, jalebi rabri, imarti rabri, imarti dahi and plain jalebi or plain imarti are hugely popular breakfast items not only in Prayagraj but... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Samosa

Prayagraj has an enviable reputation of serving up the best gulab jamun (known here as dehati ke rasgulle) and samosa in the world. Both Banaras and Prayagraj prepare some of the most delicious sweets and namkeen using pure desi ghee that truly enhances its taste. Age-old methods and secret recipes handed down from generation to generation have... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Khasta Dum Aloo

A truly finger-licking dish of Uttar Pradesh is the iconic Prayagraj dum aloo that is served at breakfast with crispy samosas, paratha, khasta or rice. Dum aloo is a flavoursome curry made with whole baby potatoes (aloo means potato in Hindi).   There are typically two ways to make this quick dish. First, the baby potatoes are cooked, peeled carefully... Continue Reading →

Prayagraj Angoori Petha

Commonly known as a poor man's sweet, the humble petha is one of the most popular and iconic sweets of Uttar Pradesh. Though petha is generally associated with Agra (Agra Petha), the angoori petha of Prayagraj is equally famous and delicious.   The residents of Prayagraj have for long been accorded the status of being the biggest food... Continue Reading →

Akshayavat and Shukdev Ashram, Shukratal, Muzaffarnagar District, Uttar Pradesh

The sacrosanct tirthasthala of Shukratal now known as Shukrateerth (Shukratirth) is one of the most picturesque places located on the course of the downstream Ganga. This beautiful place full of ancient temples, bathing ghats and wells is truly a spiritual treasure trove for the followers of Sanatana and Advaita.   This divine place derives its name from the... Continue Reading →

History of Banaras – Part VII (Conclusion)

अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी काञ्ची अवन्तिका । पुरी द्वारावती चैव सप्तैते मोक्षदायकाः॥ Kashi, a name that evokes a multitude of emotions ranging from bliss, joy, ecstasy, love and relief is the city that promises liberation. Since the dawn of time, Kashi has been considered to be the centre of learning, knowledge, wisdom and Advaita. Sages,... Continue Reading →

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