New India Bazar is a taste of home to some and a taste of the exotic to others. When you step into this Asian Indian food market at 2213 El Camino Real, you step into a little enclave of India.
Indian music and Bollywood DVDs stream nonstop from overhead TV monitors. Florescent ceiling lights flicker. A lending library of Indian DVDs is shelved by the checkout counter.
Indian gurus and Hindu gods—Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati—gaze down at you from pictures on the walls by the counter. Conversations in Punjabi, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, and English drift your way. Also in Russian.
“Lots of Russians shop here, so you can always hear Russian,” says Russian-born Radmila Addepalli from San Jose. “I shop here because my husband is Indian, and I like Indian food. I like the masalas—the spices you use when you cook vegetarian food.”
Your nose alerts you even before you reach the spice aisle with aromatic powdered ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chilli, cardamom, cinnamon, and mustard. Also, there are whole seeds of dill, sesame, fenugreek, etc.
“The prices are pretty reasonable and things are fresh,” says Addepalli, who met her husband in India. Along the produce aisle, wide, shallow baskets hold fruit and fresh vegetables you may not have heard of before—papdi, green chana, India tar, rohilrabi, okra, and sinqua.
Ten- and twenty-pound bags of perhaps a dozen kinds of rice are piled along another aisle—not just white or brown rice, but jasmine, butterfly jasmine, royal basmati, daivik basmati, siva basmati, and India Gate basmati. Across the aisle bags of flour, including rice and pearl millet, are piled high. Lentils line another aisle.
Veer and New India Bazar brands of products, imported from India, are exclusive to New India Bazar, which has five markets, all in the Bay Area: Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Fremont, and Dublin.
Asha Rani and her husband, Khushi Ram, from Punjab, India, are regulars at New India Bazar. Their shopping cart is loaded with fresh produce for the two sons, daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren they share a home with in San Jose.
“We like this store. People are soft spoken, cooperative, and prices are competitive and good,” says Ram, adding, “Wherever she goes, I like that place.”
Before leaving the market, customers stop at the Cafe Tazza counter at the back and order hot, freshly-made Indian fast food, bakery items, and snacks to go.
“Our fresh deli food is made on the premises,” says New India Bazar manager Sanjeev Sharda. The market sells about 400 samosas daily and 800 each weekend day.
A samosa, eaten as a snack or appetizer, is a fried pastry with a savory filling—commonly, seasoned mashed potatoes with peas. In the market’s kitchen on a Friday afternoon, food preparers were filling an order for two thousand samosas for a party.
“Everyone, no matter if Indian, everyone likes our samosas,” says Sharda. If you’re in a hurry, warm samosas and other quick snacks are available from a glass case at the front of the store.
New India Bazar is a family-owned business that began in San Jose in 1991. The 7,500-square-foot Santa Clara market, which opened in 1998, is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
New India Bazar (www.newindiabazar.com; www.newindiabazar.us; 408/249-2599) is just down the block on the same side of the street as Patel Brothers Indian Market, 2039 El Camino Real. Satisfied customers at each market are pleased with the range of Indian foods and fresh produce available.
Read the 4/11/12 “Santa Clara Weekly” article about Patel Brothers Market online at http://www.scweekly.blogspot.com/2012/04/patel-brothers-indian-market-in-search.html.