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Bukhara @ ITC Maurya

Bukhara @ ITC Maurya

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Contact info

New Delhi Diplomatic Enclave Sardar Patel Marg110 021 New Delhi
T+91 1126112233





Chef's personal info

Name: JP Singh
Date of birth: Unknown
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ITC Hotels
Robust Flavour of the North-West Frontier

Robust Flavour of the North-West Frontier


The British demarcated the North-West Frontier Province in the year 1900, which comprised parts of Afghanistan, and the Northwest part of pre independence India. The cuisine has been inspired by the essence of North West frontier tradition, of camaraderie around the warm glow of a campfire –succulent tandoori fare, low on oil and high on authenticity.

The food is cooked in clay ovens or tandoor in the traditional style of the Indian North-West Frontier region. This style of cooking requires great expertise on the part of the chefs, since the meat is not accompanied by any sauce or gravy, but only pre-marinated and cooked before serving. It takes a chef years of meticulous training and dedication to master the technique of the art of making the breads that are so much vital part of the cuisine, or to acquire the ability to gauge spices, mix marinades, and the most vital of all, to judge the heat of the tandoor and the time necessary for each dish to be perfectly cooked.

The world renowned Dal Bukhara is cooked overnight in the traditional Bukhara way on the tandoor, simmered all night and finished with tomato, ginger and garlic and . Another unique feature is the use of prime cuts of meat, marinated with the choicest of spices and skillfully cooked on high heat, yet retaining their tender moistness

Décor / Ambience
A unique concept, the restaurant offers a sophisticated yet totally ethnic experience where the kitchen is part of the restaurant. The decor comprises stonewalls and flooring, hung with Bukhara carpets. Rough-hewn trestle tables and wooden stools complete the rugged look. Copper pots and urns are suspended from the ceiling and pillars; the crockery is earthenware in an earthy ochre colour, while the menu is painted on a block of wood. The chequered apron is also a totally novel concept that has become very popular. The view of the kitchen with the busy chefs adds to the warmth of the restaurant, inviting one to take time off to photograph the activity inside the kitchen. The speed by which the food is cooked and delivered to the tables justifies its claim of having one of the most efficient service.

At Bukhara the tandoori cuisine of the North-West frontier of India, finds a new meaning. The haunt of every celebrity passing through, the restaurants have played host to Crowned heads, Heads of State and famous personalities from all over the world. Reveling in the most delicious kababs found anywhere in the world

- ITC Hotels - Melanie Lee
Bukhara's Singh won't change the chicken

Bukhara's Singh won't change the chicken

(Reuters Life!) - Chef J.P. Singh of Delhi's famed Bukhara restaurant has fed more heads of state than he can count, but that hasn't changed his approach in any way.The menu, engraved into wood, has not changed in the past 28 years and its famous tandoori chicken -- marinated in yoghurt, tamarind and spices and cooked in a clay oven -- continues to draw hordes of devotees.   

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Britain's Tony Blair and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai are among the many illustrious diners who have trooped to Bukhara for its succulent wood-fire cooked meats and buttery lentils which have been made the same way for almost 30 years.

Gourmet bible Restaurant magazine has rated Bukhara as Asia's best restaurant for the past two years.



In the wood-paneled interior of Bukhara, the botany-trained chef spoke to Reuters about why staying the same is not a bad thing.


Q: Will you change the Bukhara menu?


A: I'm proud to say that we are quite contrary to the global trend of changing the menu once or twice a year. We have tried and maintained the menu for the past 28 years and we are still going strong. The kebabs we have here are the "mother kebabs" and all others derive from it, so there's no point in adding more.


Q: What is your cooking philosophy?


A: We believe to keep the menu short and crisp and maintaining the quality of the top-most order. By having a very vast menu, you can't control the processes with it. The specification of sizes is well maintained at Bukhara. A whole leg of lamb that comes to us will be between 1.2 kgs to 1.5 kgs (2.6 lbs to 3.3 pounds). Our own company breeds the jumbo prawns we use, ensuring they are between 80 grams to 120 grams (2.8 ounces to 4.2 ounces). It's that sort of precision that ensures quality.


Q: You have had many famous people eat at your restaurant, any special requests?


A: After Bill Clinton had his heart bypass, he came to Bukhara two or three times. He had to be careful of the lamb because red meat is not too good for heart patients, so he preferred fish or chicken after that.


Q: How do you prepare your famous dal (lentils)?


A: Our dal is top selling and we even vacuum pack it to sell it all over India. A lot of delicacy goes into cooking it. The dal is boiled overnight and the next morning we remove the scum and the dirty water, put in the spices and keep it over the fire to cook. Anyone who passes it gives it a stir.


Q: What is the biggest misunderstanding about Indian food?


A: That it is all about curries and it's all about being spicy. India is a very vast country with plenty of spice. But the food habits change from one extreme of the country to the other.


Q: Since you are trained in the study of plants, how do you think that has helped you in the kitchen?


A: You understand the different plants, you know what vegetables to use, how to prepare them and which ones are best for cooking. Right from my childhood I was interested in cooking. I would always spend time in the kitchen whenever I'm free. I was initially trying to get into medicine but I had some inclination towards cooking so I decided to make a career out of it. - Melanie Lee
Culinary Tales of North India

Culinary Tales of North India

From its cradle in the heart of North India, the tandoor travelled along trade routes, beginning as early as 165 BC when the Kushan Empire covered territory from the western part of China to the border of Persia, from Sind, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir and right up to Benars. Traders heading from Punjab to the North-West Frontier provinces along the famous Silk Road spread their cuisine, knowledge of food and the use of the tandoor to other parts of the world.

North?West Frontier cuisine uses a simplistic style of preparation, with large chunks of meat, seafood and vegetables marinated sparingly and cooked in the clay tandoor at a high temperature so they remain tender and succulent. The spices and flavours are used judiciously so as not to overpower the main dish and remain appealing to every palate.

The rustic nature of the cuisine and the focus on preserving the flavours and ingredients is another unique selling point of the cuisine. North West Frontier cuisine has long been popular around the world, mainly because most kebabs owe their origins to this cuisine and because of its unique style of cooking in terms of methods and the quality of the ingredients used. The flavour that the clay tandoor imparts on the food cannot be duplicated, while this method is quite adaptable to vegetarian ingredients/kebabs. Thus the tandoori aloo or the tandoori phool (cauliflower) is also as popular as tandoori murgh or chicken tikka.

Bukhara brought the subtleties and nuances of North-West Frontier cuisine that lay hidden in time to the world. The chefs of Bukhara can be said to be have perfected clay oven cooking into a fine art. It is just not a restaurant, it is an experience. While the preparation seems simplistic, the standardization of recipes, quality of the ingredients used, marinating time, usage of various tenderizers and the temperature of the tandoor are followed religiously.

The food is cooked in rustic style on slow fire for a long time, especially for dishes like <i>Dal Bukhara</i> which tastes best when cooked overnight on a slow charcoal fire. It is a harmony of black lentils, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt simmered overnight on coal embers and finished with cream and a dollop of butter. Another dish called <i>Sikandari Raan</i> features a whole leg of spring lamb marinated in a mixture of malt vinegar, salt, ginger, garlic, royal cumin, cloves, bay leaves and braised in the marinade and cooked on a slow fire for a longer time, allowing the spices to really seep into the meat (raan), which is grilled in a deep charcoal oven to perfection.

Reputed to be the world?s best Indian restaurant, Bukhara?s incredible menu has remained unchanged for the last 31 years. Redolent of the rugged flavours of North-West Frontier cuisine, Bukhara?s delicious food has, over the years, created a formidable reputation. This is succulent Khyber fare – low on oil and high on authenticity – at its best.

At Bukhara, visual vibrancy and culinary perfection come together in a truly unforgettable dining experience. Exceeding the highest quality of food and service standards, waiting unobtrusively upon you with a smile and warm courtesy that captures the essence of India, the restaurant awaits at the ITC Hotel Maurya. The mood is set with the perfect blend of efficient chefs and craftsman and an understanding of the desires of global travellers, making it a preferred restaurant for visiting heads of state, corporate honchos and celebrities.

Bukhara has played host to innumerable world dignitaries including Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Bryan Adams, Greg Chappel, Cherie and Tony Blair, Greek Prime Minister Konstandinos Karamanlis and Singaporean President Seellapan Rama Nathan. Offering the most delicious kebabs found anywhere in the world, Bukhara was awarded the ?Golden Fork? in 1991 and the ?Restaurant of the Year for Indian Cuisine 1998?. Bukhara has also received recognition from the renowned ?Restaurant? magazine of the UK for the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 & 2008. And for all these years it has been placed among the top 50 best restaurants of the world and as number one in Asia. Bukhara also got a mention in Patricia Schultz? New York bestseller ?A Thousand Places to see before you Die??. The inaugural edition of The Miele Guide, Asia?s first truly independent and authoritative restaurant guide, rated Bukhara as the 14th Best Restaurant in Asia. And it?s still going strong, gathering fans from across the world.

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Glam and the guides at this do

Glam and the guides at this do

This annual Delhi do always leaves guests going 'mmmmm'. The formal launch of the Times Food Guide 2010 and the Times Nightlife Guide 2010, and the presentation of the annual Times Food and Nightlife awards, is always such a tasteful and tasty affair that no wonder it's a must-attend on most of Delhi's social calendar.

Known as the Food and Nightlife Oscars, the awards were presented across a variety of categories, from Best Lebanese and Korean food to the Best Bar With Dancing and Best Bar With Live Music. Organised in association with Seagram's Blender's Pride and supported by Kingfisher, with Hyatt Regency as hospitality partner, the do was a foodie's delight – and also a hoot, thanks to stand-up comedian Vir Das.

The chief guests for the evening, actors Arshad Warsi, Dia Mirza and Vivek Oberoi, loved the whole thing. Said Vivek, "I'm so excited to be part of the Times Food and Nightlife Guides evening. Food and eating out are like a religion, and the guides are like Bibles to me. I'm a huge foodie. I love cooking and trying out different types of dishes. People may say I'm crazy, but I have this habit of smelling the food before eating it. I try to experiment with a variety of spices and flavours in my food." This is just after Vivek, Arshad and Dia launched the reader-friendly guides in the presence of Times Group MD Vineet Jain, whose vision drives the comprehensive and reader-friendly guides, published by Times Group Books.

Among the glitterati who went 'mmmmm' were boxer Vijender Singh, PFMI Universe '09 Ekta Chowdhry, PFMI World '09 Pooja Chopra, actors Arjun Rampal, Rahul Dev and Kainaat. -


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