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May 15, 2011 11:10 AM

Chaat Bhavan in Fremont

Yesterday, we stopped at Chaat Bhavan on the way up from Santa Cruz. The few dishes we had were really wonderful.

First, the chai was the best I've had in ages: strong tea, with spices that complement, but not overpower the good flavor of the tea itself.

Then, spinach paratha -- delightful. The fun of a green paratha was appreciated in and of itself. But the flavor of the spinach with the whole wheat paratha was really enjoyable.

The highlight was the okra: sliced, dry roasted with browned bits of onion was easily among the best I've ever had.

Roti were thin and delicate. You can go home with a package of 10 housemade roti for $3.90 or so.

Sag with garbanza beans -- a different medley of spices, primarily a light presence of cloves.

It's a vegetarian resto that introduces many new combinations of ingredients and spices to the usual repertoire.

But it's not a place to go if you're in a hurry.

ps- At 7pm it was mostly filled, and mostly with South Asian families. Clearly, the food is being appreciated.

Chaat Bhavan
5355 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA 94538

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  1. I've been there once. We enjoyed the okra - wow, how do they make it not slimy? I missed the chai - next time. I got a mango lassi that I enjoyed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hhc

      If you dry your Okra very very well, and sauté on high heat it does not get slimy. The key seems to be not letting any liquid to be in contact with it for more than a moment after it is cut and during cooking.

    2. Since we've been talking about Chaat Bhavan in another thread today, I thought I'd post on my solo lunch two months ago. I was excited to see maki ki roti and sarson ka saag on the menu. Not that common, and often a weekend only item elsewhere, Chaat Bhavan makes a nice version, listed as,
      "Maki de roti and saag - two corn bread served with sarson ka saag mustard & spinach, $7.49."

      Tender-centered, fired to order flatbreads had a whiff of toasted corn conplexity from the griddle and were served without a brush of butter. Blending both mustard greens and spinach, the sarson ka saag whipped into a fluffy texture was like creamed spinach on steroids. Not from heat, as this was a mildly spiced dish, but bursting with mustard pepperiness, deep with dark green flavor, and an undertone of ginger. Half a raw jalapeño chile and freshly chopped onion were served on the side for extra horsepower, but not needed for my tastes. The accompanying cup of raita was unexpected and provided a chilled contrast.

      I also tried the Faluda kulfi, $3.99. Somewhat too powerful in rosewater for me, and the kulfi tasted stale. I'll avoid ice cream here in the future.