Goldilocks would be pleased by Sunnyvale’s Satkar. The restaurant may be tiny, but the size of its menu, not to mention the balance of spices in their homestyle North Indian cuisine, is just right. The flavors are strong, and prepared spicy or mild at the customer’s request, yet on my recent visit, I never found any of the food to be overpowering.

The restaurant opened in May 2013, but actually that was a grand re-opening. Satkar was once a thriving Indian restaurant in Los Altos from 1998 till 2007, when it was closed due to an electrical fire.

The new location is tucked away in an El Camino Real strip mall in a tiny space with only five small tables. Like the original location, it is a family-run operation, with Kirandeep Kaur running the front of the house while her husband, Mukhtiar, runs the kitchen, with their children sometimes helping out.

There are a lot of choices on the menu, yet just enough—not too many—and the prices are quite reasonable.
I started the meal off with the samosa chaats ($4.25). Samosas are common savory potato pastries that are deep-fried. For the samosa chaat, the samosa is broken into several pieces and topped with chickpeas, and a combination of sweet and tangy flavors. Satkar uses a blend of yogurt, cilantro, and mint and tamarind chutneys.

There are a variety of wraps and kaati rolls on the menu. The wraps are made with thick naan bread (which I tried, and it is very fresh), whereas the kaati rolls use paratha, a thinner, whole wheat-based flat bread. I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala Katti Roll ($8.75) at the owner’s recommendation. The sauce was rich, the chicken was tender and it came with a spicy mint sauce that complemented the flavors quite well.

On the menu, entrees are organized by choice of meat or vegetarian. From the vegetarian list, I ordered the okra masala ($8.95). Masala is a blanket term that refers to a spice mix that has been ground into a paste. The okra was seasoned well and had a nice charred flavor to it. It was served along with a bowl of rice.

Lastly I ordered the karai chicken, the hottest dish I tried, which had a strong tomato flavor. The dish can be ordered as a dinner ($9.95), which comes with daal (lentils), rice and naan, or as a side with only rice or naan.