Experiential travel stories from India and 31 other countries!

Bukhara – Counting 45 years and beyond

ITC Maurya in Delhi

While there is a timeless city in Uzbekistan, there is a legendary namesake restaurant in India. Drawing parallels, both these places are unique and entice people from around the world. In this one, let us find out what is in the name BUKHARA. Here, I will be talking about the latter, a remarkable culinary legacy of Delhi and pride of India. Forty-five years of unwavering commitment towards gastronomic excellence, consistency, and quality is no easy feat to achieve. This global award-winning restaurant at one of the most coveted addresses in New Delhi, tells us what it feels like to eat gobsmacking Indian food without using a fork and spoon.

Why Bukhara in New Delhi is a must-visit restaurant?

Bukhara at ITC Maurya

Bukhara at ITC Maurya is inarguably one of the most-loved restaurants in India. While the culinary landmark has fetched laurels at all awards events, it has also etched a special place in the hearts of high-profile guests from around the world. Opened in 1978, it was the first in its league to have an open kitchen. Those were the years when the Western influences had permeated in the Indian cities, but this one chose to cling to its roots. From serving the rich and robust flavours of North West Frontier Cuisine to incorporating sustainable practices, using the highest quality of ingredients, bringing varieties of delicacies straight from the charcoal tandoor (Earthern Oven) and encouraging people to eat with their hands only in an intimate family setting, Bukhara has been loyal to the age-old traditions of India.

The Main Stars

For 45 years, Bukhara has celebrated the robust and authentic flavours of North West Frontier Cuisine. Just the mention of it sends people salivating for its succulent tandoori kebabs, juicy Sikandari raan, Naan Bukhara (family Naan), and the signature ‘Dal Bukhara’. The tender and flavorful meat dishes overpower all the senses and as far as the lentil delicacy is considered, it is far beyond replication. The overnight cooking, harmonious blend of classic ingredients and expertise of the team bring out a truly phenomenal outcome. This famous Dal Bukhara simmers on charcoal for over a day until it reaches the table. And with only 6 per cent of fat in it, overindulgence is unavoidable. No rice dishes are served at Bukhara but the breads are moreish. ‘Bharwaan Kulcha’, ‘Pudina Parantha’, and ‘Khasta Roti’ are a must try. The special one, ‘Naan Bukhara’ (family Naan) is made from the dough of around 1.3 kg and is a wholesome treat, meant to be eaten with family and friends. Eating together with the family is encouraged here.

Though the North West Frontier Cuisine is inclined towards slow-cooked non-vegetarian dishes prepared with simple spices and juices of the meat, Bukhara treats vegetarian palettes equally. It pampers its patrons not only with the mainstay ‘Dal Bukhara’, the world’s slowest cooked lentil but also with some of its much-loved offerings like ‘paneer tikka’, ‘tandoori cauliflower’, ‘tandoori potatoes’, and ‘tandoori capsicum’.

At Bukhara, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are engrossed in great flavours. It is hard to take a side if you enjoy eating both. And no trip to Bukhara is complete without indulging in one or more of its four desserts. Everyone on the table has special memories attached to one of them. The ‘kulfi’ and the ‘rasmalai’ are to die for.

Originally published in the inflight magazine of Batik Air

Bukhara stands out

Because the most masterful food served here connects to the soul and body immediately. The passion and commitment of the culinary team, top-notch hospitality and unpretentiousness of the brand are the secret ingredients of its sizzling success. In times when change is the order of the day, the warm and homely setup amidst the stone walls, the acclaimed menu with no compromise on the regional heritage legacy and the “caringly sourced, mindfully prepared” approach have remained unchanged. Maintaining their quality and uniformity gives them an upper hand over other restaurants. Chef Culinaire, JP Singh has been with Bukhara since 1991. This says it all.

Sharing his thoughts on the four-decade celebration, Anil Chadha, Chief Executive, ITC Hotels, said, “ITC Hotels has been renowned for its popular culinary offerings and signature dining experiences. As we celebrate 45 glorious years of Bukhara, we reflect on a journey filled with timeless flavours, cherished memories, and an unwavering commitment to consistency and quality. Bukhara’s magnificence has not only stood the test of time but has also evolved into an Icon of culinary heritage, delighting diners from all over the world and across generations. The unchanged menu-a testament to timelessness has remained an everlasting favourite amongst celebrities and Heads of States showcasing nuances of the region. We take immense pride in our ability to delight palates and showcase gastronomic excellence with the rich tapestry of flavours from the North-West frontier at our global award-winning restaurant. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our patrons for their unwavering support.”

P.S. – Originally, this piece was written for and published in the inflight magazine of Batik Air in the month of May 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.