When it involves eating out, the simplest two elements of Varanasi truely matter – Dashashwamedh Ghat and Chowk. And the 5-decade antique Deena Chat Bhandar, one of the maximum iconic of the numerous famous eateries in the city, has an outlet in each area. If a regular day within the metropolis starts with an assisting of kachori-sabzi-jalebi on the
hundreds of locations promoting this preferred breakfast combo, it in general ends with a serving of tamatar chaat at one in all Deena’s two stores, where truly the whole town converges every night to savor the delicacy.
While Deena serves a plethora of different snacks such as chhole-Tikki, palak-patta chaat, and choora-matter, tamatar chaat has remained its bestseller for the last 50 years. It becomes in the late ’60s that Deena Nath Kesari started hawking tamatar chaat, Tikki-dahi, and kachori-dahi on a little kombucha (a cell stall borne on the pinnacle) every evening, inside the lanes and bylanes of the identical Luxa Bazaar in which the expensive new shop stands now.
Today, the group of workers of 10 serving at the store infrequently has a loose second on its fingers, running around with petals (leaf plates) of tamatar chaat and Tikki-dahi to help a combination of locals, pilgrims and backpackers alike. Atul Kesari, one in every of Nath’s grandsons who handles the commercial enterprise now, says, “After many years of jogging around with the kombucha, Dadaji bought a small store in Chowk. But we added seating only at this bigger Luxa Bazaar outlet. Besides catering to a full residence of shoppers for six hours every night, we also receive party orders now.” It’s no wonder that cooks Ranveer Brar, and Sanjeev Kapoor spent an afternoon in Deena’s kitchen to analyze the recipe and recreate a fusion version of the tamatar chaat for one in all their TV shows.
What is it that offers this dish its unequaled flavor? Like with maximum famous dishes, the recipe for the tamatar chaat too is an intently-guarded family secret. “The combination of meetha, teekha, and khatta is not anybody’s recreation. We use the identical recipe created through Dadaji or even make all our masalas in-house,” says the 30-something Atul. Legend has it that the long-lasting allure of tamatar chaat lies within the painstaking interest with which its gravy is ready. This gravy, which takes numerous hours and lots of tastings to get right, consists of dried fruits, mustard oil, desi ghee, lime juice, and jaggery. Atul says his grandfather has handed down a listing of components for use within the gravy to the family, at the same time as the technique is something they learned using watching him all those years.
To maintain up with the tastes of the times, Deena has introduced a phase of Chinese dishes to its menu. It additionally now serves bottled water. But the enjoy remains conventional. On a busy day — that’s genuinely every day — shoppers are endorsed to share tables in preference to watch for separate seating. Many still choose to stand outside, close to the large wok wherein the tikkis are fried, and devour panipuri and Tikki-dahi even as taking inside the hustle and bustle of the marketplace around them.