What you are going to witness is one of the best Indian dinners I ever had. It was at Bukhara, a restaurant located at the Luxury Collection ITC Maurya Hotel in Delhi that, for more than 30 years, served the same menu made of dishes from the North Western part of India.
The restaurant itself is bursting with a mix of tourists, expats, business men and Indian clientele in a decor made of stone walls, dark wood beams and red rugs.
In the back is the kitchen, visible from the dining room, where you can see the Chef and cooks prepare the dishes in their tandoori ovens (clay ovens).
We got the privilege to visit the kitchen, where many skewers were ready to be put in the ovens.
So I was ready for my meal, bib on, wine in one hand and menu in the other.
The wine was an Indian wine called Sula from the Nashik region, 180 km Northeast from Mumbai.
After we sat, they brought us some papadam:
And red onions:
But was I was waiting for was the family naan, a giant naan perfect to share with the entire table that was the attraction of the restaurant.
Then, the food came...First was this incredible dal.
Made with a blend of dark lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, it is slow cooked for 24 hours on a charcoal fire, finished with cream and some unsalted butter, giving it a creamy texture and an amazing taste.
Then was the tandoori salad:
It was composed of onions, capsicum, tomatoes, fresh cottage cheese and pineapple seasoned with yellow chilies, garam masala, black cumin and malt vinegar.
We also tried the paneer tikka, that is cottage cheese marinated in fresh cream, gram flour, ajwain (caraway) and yellow chillies.
We also ordered a fish called pomfret that was cooked in the tandoor with yellow chillies, garam masala, turmeric and caraway.
Then, we got the slow cooked leg of lamb - Sikandari Raan:
It is a whole leg of lamb that is braised in a marinade of malt vinegar, cinnamon, black cumin and red chili paste. It is then finished in the tandoor, giving a nice char on the outside. The meat was very tender and moist: divine! If you love lamb like me, this is definitely a dish to order. In fact it is close in concept to the
gigot d'agneau de 7 heures
, a French dish that is also slow cooked lamb.
ok, I admit that at some point lost track of the dishes as they all came at the same time and I was trying to take my photos...This was a good chicken, served in a creamy sauce that was not spicy at all.
After this feast, we still had some space for dessert...First was the gulab jamun that were quite big!
Phirni, a dessert made with milk, basmati rice and cardamon, quite close to rice pudding (besides the texture).
And Rasmalai, poached dumplings of cottage cheese in a saffron flavored reduced milk sauce.
I admit that I was full after this, but thrilled that I got the opportunity to dine at Bukhara. If you are in Delhi, this is definitely not to be missed.
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!