[Sunnyvale] Bharat Bazar Food Court- Keralan eats

Bharat Bazar Food Court is not really a food court. Its an eating area inside Bharat Bazar, an Indian grocery store in Sunnyvale, and they are the only eating establishment inside the store.

The highlights here are the specials menu with dishes from the Indian state of Kerala, a Southern state with a long coastline facing the Arabian Sea. Keralan dishes are generally harder to find in the Bay Area so I was eager to try Bharat’s offering.

I had the Meen Pollichathu, which was a white pomfret fried then wrapped with the masala with a banana leaf/ foil, then cooked on a tawa. It was delicious. It seems like pollichathu is only served in a few places in the Bay Area- Red Chillis in Milpitas, which also serves food from Kerala, and Rasa, which has a halibut pollichathu on its dinner menu.

The pomfret came with a tomato-based masala all around it. The masala is mildly tart and has a certain smokiness to it, though it has no discernible coconut aroma. Best enjoyed with parottas or slathered all over the pomfret flesh and skin. It is nuanced and delicious, though not particularly spicy. Toned down for the foreigner, perhaps? When I first tasted it I thought it was ok, but over the course of the meal I grew to like it more and more. As with the banana leaf from Annachikadai’s thalis, the one here has also lost its fragrance and in this case, provides more a wrapping function than flavoring. The parottas are well made and flakey. This dish is going to take a bit of time to prepare, so best to order walk around the store, then come back.

BBFC also has kappa biryani, a type of biryani from Kerala that uses tapioca instead of rice. I have to try that, and the other Keralan specials at some point.

According to Yelp, last September they also celebrated Onam, an annual Keralan Hindu holiday, by serving the vegetarian sadya meal, a type of Keralan thali with 20 plus dishes on banana leaf. I am certainly interested in trying that. @billstewart FYI.

Kerala specials:

Regular menu. The vijayawada biryani seems to be well loved. So I have to try that some time.

Ambiance, or the opposite of it. Meal was accompanied by constant loud operation noise from their industrial blender inside the kitchen.