Puri Sabzi Jalebi – The Middle Class Bihari’s Luxury Food

**Disclaimer: The pictures used in this blog were clicked between 2015 and 2018 using a number of devices. Hope you don’t mind the image quality as they were clicked when I was just starting**

I grew up in a small town of Jharkhand. The 90s era did not have a lot of entertainment options for a middle class family in Bihar. The movie theatres would charge INR 7 for the balcony seat and INR 2.50 for the front row. Outings mostly meant masala dosa or choley bhature in the only restaurant of the town. But daily movie or restaurant outings was not possible.

Puri Sabzi Allahabad

So we did what every family in U.P. and Bihar used to do on a Sunday morning. After Rangoli would finish, my dad would go to a nearby hotel, purchase puri and jalebi with which a tangy sabzi of potato would come for free. I loved puri and jalebi so much that every month, I would save my pocket money to have a plate at the end of the month. Slowly I moved to Delhi and then Bangalore but I would always find a way to savor it, thanks to the crowd from UP and Bihar shifting to these cities for new job opportunities.

Netram famous jalebi

Puri, Jalebi, Sabzi is the luxury breakfast of UP and Bihar which brings families closer. In tourist towns like Varanasi and Lucknow this simple food has gained the highly recognized status. In commercial cities like Patna and Ranchi, every hotel and road side vendor prepares it in the morning. These shops have their own fixed customers waiting for the piping hot jalebis to come out and then served with puri and sabzi.

Banaras food

Varanasi, as a tourist town has increased the fame of this combination. The road leading to Dashawamedh Ghat is filled with big and small restaurants selling their own. Some versions of puri is plain while others have fillings of grounded lentils or sattu. A plate of this lovely, delicious meal would cost you somewhere between INR 30 to INR 80. It depends on the place you are having it. A majority of road side shops are located next to some drainage or a garbage disposal unit so don’t even think of sitting here if you are very hygiene conscious.

Puri jalebi bihar patna

While Varanasi has created its legacy of making this meals mainstream, it will be Allahabad where the trend earned it mentions in the pages of history. Establishments like Netram are now more than 100 years old. Their flavourful platters which present multiple options of puri, jalebi with rabri or dahi are consumed by the masses on a daily basis. Generations have passed and those who moved out of the city still get emotional when the topic comes up.

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Be whatever the reason, puri, jalebi and the humble aalu ki sabzi would always be the middle class UP, Bihari’s favourite meal. A luxury, that would only come home when a guest is visiting or when the family has gathered to celebrate Independence Day or Republic Day.

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I still remember, a cousin of mine telling a story of how her father used to travel all the way to Jaunpur from Allahabad to bring special jalebis when he wanted to pamper her.

In my town, a jalebi wala gained such heights of popularity that people used to stand in lines and take numbers for their order.

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At Patna station, when train stops for long, people actually walk out and get puri and jalebis packed. The shopkeeper knows this and keeps packets ready for a faster service.

I have learned that every state in India has its own middle class luxury breakfast. Did you have one? Share about it in the comments section.

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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Alexander Popkov

    I love it. This looks so authentic. Never had a clue about Puri Sabzi Jalebi, but I would love to give it a try. The place itself is also intersting.

  2. Bibi on Board

    Looks tasty 🙂 I don’t mind a recipe.

    Btw. In Turkey breakfast is a very important food as well. It also keeps family together 🙂

  3. Indu

    Wow! I am just wanting to have puri sabji jalebi seeing all your pics. All are my favorites, though not myself from Bihar.

    1. ansh997x

      A well traveled person like you would certainly know their food. Glad to know that you like it.

  4. nicholesreflection

    This looks so amazing. Never thought about traveling there but the food and your experiences make me think twice.

  5. Ishani Nath

    Mouthwatering pictures, its driving me to eat some puri sabzi and jalebi right now, amazing article.

    1. ansh997x

      So cool, try it next time you come across a shop.

  6. travelwithjess81

    I love this! Coming from Australia, this food is very foreign to me but it looks amazing and I would love to try it.

  7. Daniel

    I spent a year in India and tried all of these things. I must say going through your article made me realize how much I actually miss Indian food 🙁

  8. Team Uy

    nice dishes that i never tasted before. they all look appetizing. wish i can find recipes and know how to cook them

  9. Explore The 6

    This looks soooo good, never had it before but I would certainly try. Thanks for sharing

  10. Kartik Kannan

    Beautiful. I have been to Patna during a trip to Allahabad. I see this combination of jaggery with spices. I had a jaggery samosa there. I was reminded of those times seeing your sabji and jalebi.

    Regards

    Kartik
    http://www.katchutravels.com

    1. ansh997x

      That’s great. Jaggery samosas are too sweet for my taste.

  11. lexieanimetravel

    Wow those food looks really delicious, would love to taste that puri and jalebis. I’m curious to know how it taste like. You had a great fun for sure. Cheers!

  12. JIJJY'S MAISON

    All these made me hungry 😀 , i have tried Indian food but some of the ones mentioned i have not tried yet. I have. I definitely must look for them now….

    1. ansh997x

      Do try this but avoid a street side shop.

  13. Bhushavali

    Anshul….. I hate you right now! I’m here, sitting in a different country, far away from India. And these – Puri, Bhaji, Jalebi are really making me so hungry right now and I can’t even go and buy them anywhere here….
    But it also reminds me of a severe stomach upset I got when I had it in Karol Bagh street shop!!!

    1. ansh997x

      Hahah, it actually happens. A lot of street food in India are not hygienic at all. 😁