Eat, Moan, Die
April 28, 2009
Bukhara is Delhi’s best eat and one of my latent obsessions.
The menu hasn’t changed for 25 years. It’s short, as any menu should be – if you overlook the fact that there is a vegetarian side to the carte (which you should), it consists of 6 dishes.
The name itself, Bukhara, could only appeal to me, with its song of the Silk Road, Persian poets, the golden age of Avicenna and the rise of the Timurid warriors.
The decor is pretty ghastly. Think the Flintstones meet Gengis Khan: wooden stools, kilims and brass tumblers. They’re not trying to be cool. And I like its rustic, frank, honest feel.
Because really, you don’t come to Bukhara to watch, let alone be watched. Nobody cares. You go there to eat.
Eat, however, would be an understatement. Stuff yourself dead would be more accurate.
The food is formidably North Indian. Heavy, spicy, tender, lethal. The dal bukhara is so good it is sold in tin cans – some even say it’s cooked with meat.
The speciality of the house is meat, lamb meat. Try the barra kebab, a killer – tender spicy lamb cubes cooked in the tandoor.
But the all-time favorite, non-vegeterian delight, bearer of death and ecstasy, is the sikandari raan. Half a lamb leg rubbed with red chilli and ginger paste, simmered in cinnamon, bay leaf and cumin, then barbecued in the tandoor. It melts in the mouth.
Bukhara is at the ITC Maurya Sheraton in the Diplomatic Enclave, Delhi. Its Jaipur branch, Peshawari, is at the Rajputana Sheraton.