The Gastronomical Story Of Jaunpur

Generally, the cuisine of Uttar Pradesh is as diverse as its topography. Jaunpur is no different from the rest of Uttar Pradesh varying from modest everyday-fare to vibrant luxurious banquets. In order to create a perfect feast of incredible dishes with the most popular being the Awadhi delicacies, the cuisine of Jaunpur has harmonized a variety of cuisines to create a luscious feast.

Though the awadhi cuisine has a striking resemblance to that of Mughlai cuisines, except that the former uses small amounts of cream and spices. You can discover and enjoy all kinds of Awadhi delicacies in Jaunpur. While the Mughals preferred tandoor style of cuisine, awadhi cuisine is mostly made with the support of tawa. It is favorable to know about the utensils utilized in Jaunpur for awadhi cuisines are Mahi tawa, seeni, lagan, Bhagona or patili, deg or degchi, lohe ka tandoor and kadhai. Handful of the delicacies of awadhi cuisines are kebabs, galawati kabab, kakori kabab, shami kabab, pasanda kabab, nahari, murg mussalam, rezala, kundan kaliya, shahi korma kaliya, badal jam and rice platters are noor mahal pulao, zarda, sheermal and breads like sheermal and desserts like halwa, kheer, muzaffar and malida, etc.

Most of the Hindu communities in Jaunpur are tenacious vegetarians and their cuisine pertains to solely veg dishes ranging from “Aloo-puri” or potatoes, fried wheat bread to savourites, divine desserts and sweetmeats.


When it comes to delicious exquisiteness, Nawabs of oudh were terrific gourmets and encouraged their master chefs to formulate new styles of cooking identical to that of “Dum Pukht” of Lucknow where the food is sealed inside a large pots called ‘Handis’ and stationed over a slow fire and left it to be cooked on its own juices. Once it is simmered and opened, it fires the most fragrant and delicious flavors.


It’s an awe then that the street food in Jaunpur and Varanasi is something to jot down home about. There are barely any restaurants serving entire meals, but the amount of street food stalls, carts, hole-in-the-wall shops and cafes are innumerable. You’ll often find townies making chitchats on the sun and the moon over chai (tea) and some legendary snacks, some of which are listed here.

Brace yourself with Jaunpur Cuisine

Famous Samosa of Jaunpur

If Samosa is an endeavor of a masterpiece, the people of Jaunpur-Varanasi have triumphed over it. The stuffing is key here, and you have to consume it piping hot, hardly off the kadhai. Every second stall in Jaunpur and Varanasi will serve this legendary snack. Club it with chai (tea) or cold drink, eat it with bread or on its own – the samosa hardly goes wrong.

This samosa is arguably the most recognizable and widely-available food there is. From street vendors to grocery stores to the menu in restaurants small and large, this flavorful morsel is essentially synonymous with Indian cuisine. However, much like Jaunpur itself, the samosa has a surprisingly prosperous, diverse, and storied history, having roamed far and wide to reach the place that in modern times is thought of as its home.

Laung Lata

Laung lata is samosa’s older sibling – it glares analogous but savors different, more like a sweet samosa. There’s no potato stuffing here. Instead a puffed pastry is deep fried and drenched in sugar syrup before serving it hot to shoppers. It’s crunchy, vibrant and tasty. The first couple of bites and you are plunging – it’s that good! If you have a big sweet tooth, you’ll like this one. Keep adequate space in your belly to wrap up this. You will eventually struggle to wipe this off your plate.

Banarasi Meetha Paan

This one is  bestowed, isn’t it? You can’t go to Jaunpur – Banaras and not embark on their Banarasi paan. Just like you can’t travel Mumbai and not munch a vada pav! Watching the paanwala go about his day-to-day routine of making hundreds of paans  in his dimly lit hole-in-the-wall shop  is an ultimate scenery. His hands work like an engine, reinforcing all the ingredients step by step – some gulkand, mukhwas, coconut flakes, some glazed cherries to embellish. It’s a flare of colours on a betel layer. He’ll then hand over his work of creation to you, gently held by a toothpick. Just stuff the whole damn thing in your sass and let it do its magic.


Imarti is a Jaunpuri speciality. It gazes like a Jalebi but is thicker and fashioned like a flower. Another key differentiation is its intense red color. The sweet is deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup but unlike a Jalebi the syrup is soaked, making it a lot less sweet. The 200-year-old Beniram’s in Jaunpur remains to churn out savory imartis that has people herding a few hundred kilometres to purchase a batch. Beniram’s would be the ancientest lasting shop selling imartis, a mithai that emerged in India, unlike the jalebi that arrived from the Middle East, despite their appearance.

Arriving back to Beniram’s imarti, they have a store at Olandganj, Jaunpur, while the former shop is located at Shahi Pul, that was established during Akbar’s regime.At a time when packaged foods braided with hidden additions have much better endorsement than desi mithais, and even mithais are striding the packaged way, it is heartening to glimpse this piece of history surviving in its original form.


Lassi in Jaunpur – Varanasi is the substantial deal. We can vouch that you won’t find such incredibly thick and tasty Lassi anywhere in the world, except Amritsar.Lassi is a famous traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink that arose in the Indian Subcontinent. Lassi is a medley of yoghurt, water, spices and occasionally fruit. Namkeen (salty) lassi is analogous to doogh, while sweet and mango lassis are like milkshakes. It’s served in a kullad (earthen bowl) and crowned with fresh cream (malai) or rabdi. On a hot sunny afternoon, stroll into one of these road-side stalls and have this luscious bowl of goodness. Do not return without trying the Lassi. That would be blasphemy!


Weirdly, Chenna is restricted to Odisha but some parts of Jaunpur and Varanasi specialise in it too. There’s a lot you can accomplish with Chhena, which is practically unripened curd cheese made from cow’s milk.

Jaunpuri Mooli

Jaunpur is popular for Jaunpuri Newar species of mooli(radish ) which can mature up to four to six feet high. Its reason is Gomti river streams near to some villages of jaunpur and  irrigation resources are plentiful.Mooli or white radish is a regional crop of Jaunpur and a staple in nearly every home. A mooli ki sabzi with puri or roti should be on your plan if you want to try something local. Even otherwise, club your food with raw mooli and nimbu (slice of lime) as a complement and you’re sorted.

 The takeaway

Food is not just an event, it is also an aspect of art that captures the interests of so many people. It is a way to broaden your knowledge of the culture and traditions of the specific place you are in. Remember that when you go to Jaunpur on your next trip, don’t forget to try these delicacies as you get to taste different food you may have never tried before. Make time for food festivals and try local street foods and neighborhood restaurants. You will surely learn a lot and you will learn new recipes that you get to try back home.