Monday, July 7, 2008

Apna Bazar: Indian Groceries in Laurel

The Pillsbury Dough Boy hawks gobi paratha, and you can buy him in Laurel.

Apna Bazar imports the largest selection of Indian breads that I have ever seen in a freezer. Onion naan. Garlic naan. Gobi paratha. Peas paratha. Pillsbury-brand whole-wheat Roti -- with the plumped-up bread looking so natural next to the plumped up Dough Boy.

Apna is actually smaller than many other groceries, but it has a selection that makes it especially valuable if you want convenience foods. The shelves have all the Indian cooking
supplies -- rice, spices, lentils, gram flour and nuts. It even has yogurts and a cooler of produce. But Apna offers shelves and freezers of items that can be exotic stables. Those breads, which warm up easily convert a simple salad or some grilled chicken into an exotic weeknight meal. The bags of bhelpuri snacks that would a Frito replacement. The cooler of mango lassi shakes. The freezer of Indian curries so authentic that some are too spicy for my heat-loving bride.

This place must sell serious volume because they stock an impressive array. Apna had five varieties of papad where some Indian markets have just one. Mrs. HowChow preferred the cumin papad to the fiery pepper variety.

Come with questions. "Apna" means "My Bazaar," and the proprietor chatted me up. He recommended a frozen chickpea dish. He explained how to microwave a papad. Actually, several of us discussed that. Another shopper weighed in with his technique. That is the kind of delicious education that you won't get at a Safeway.

If you like Apna, check out the Desi Market in Columbia and Mango Grove restaurant in Columbia.

Apna Bazar
10119-C Washington Blvd (U.S. 1)
Laurel, MD 20707

NEAR: Apna Bazar is actually in the middle of U.S. 1. If you drive south on U.S. 1 from Rte 32, Apna is on the left in a shopping center between the southbound and northbound roads. It is between Rte 32 and Main Street in Laurel


Anonymous said...

Are you sure it is 101119, and not 10119?

HowChow said...

Thanks. I fixed that!