Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
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What: This typical breakfast, usually served at street stands, consists of two parts: one spicy and one sweet. The bedai (sometimes spelled berahi) is a fried, puffy bread, much like kachori, served with a bowl of spicy green sabzi dotted with hunks of potato and a dollop of curd. The jalebi, as you’ve hopefully tried in Delhi, is a sticky-sweet dessert made of fermented batter that’s fried into ropy whorls, then soaked in hot sugary syrup. Freshly made and consumed one after another on a crowded street corner, together they’re the definitive balanced breakfast of Agra.
Where: We got our bedai and jalebi fix at Deviram (no phone; Pratap Pura crossing, map), where the breakfast is doled out to the masses on the street corner outside the restaurant. Don’t be put off by the crowds—that’s a sign of good, freshly cooked food in this country. Another plus: The grub is served in small bowls made from leaves, which seems both hygienic and eco-conscious.
When: Breakfast is served daily, 9am-2pm (approx.). (Later in the day, other foods like samosas are more popular to eat.)
Order: Get your bedai first (5 rupees)—and if you’re only given one piece of bread, you can ask for a second—and when you’re finished, the jalebi (10 rupees for about 100 grams). In between and after, you’ll want to wash off your hands at the sink in the corner—these are messy foods.
Alternatively: In the same area, we’ve heard that Netram Halwai (Pratap Pura) is a good bet; or try GMB (Crystal Tower, Fatehabad Rd., map), a bit closer to Agra’s tourist sites.
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