Here's where to find best Indian cuisine in the capital
Indian cuisine is well-known for being strongly flavored and spicy.
What is less known is that Indian cuisine is actually made up of a variety of distinct regional cuisines, which all employ different recipes, ingredients and spices.
For instance, the world-famous Indian dish, butter chicken, is originally from Delhi. It is made by marinating chicken meat in yogurt, spices and lemon juice, and then cooking it in a tandoor, a traditional clay oven that is heated with charcoal and gives a smoky flavor. The chicken is then simmered in a buttery curry sauce.
The dish is said to have been first made spontaneously, when a chef decided to use up some leftover chicken by heating it in a tomato gravy, rich in butter and cream. The dish is now usually consumed with butter naan, a flatbread cooked in an oven or a tandoor with lots of butter, or rice.
Rogan Josh is another famous Indian dish, but this one has its roots far from Delhi, in the northern province of Kashmir. The dish consists of lamb braised in a thick and deep-red colored piquant gravy, with garlic, ginger and aromatic spices.
Tandoori chicken, which originated in the city of Peshawar, now in Pakistan, is popular all over India and abroad too. The chicken meat is marinated in yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, honey and spices for several hours, and then cooked in a tandoor.
Malai kofta, a dish originating in the north of India, is a good pick for vegetarians. Malai means cream and koftas are usually balls made of a mixture of vegetables like mashed potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beans, peas and Indian paneer cheese. These balls are simmered in a thick-tangy sauce and then the flavor is toned down with the addition of lots of heavy cream. It can also be served to vegetarians as a substitute for meatballs.
For dessert, try a gulab jamun, a sweet popular all over India which is prepared by heating milk over a low flame for a long time until most of the water content has evaporated. The milk residue is kneaded into balls and then deep fried in a low heat. They are then drenched in
a sugary syrup flavored with green cardamom, rosewater, saffron, and kewra and can be served hot or cold.
All of that can be washed down with Masala chai, which is a popular Indian tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs.
The list of famous Indian dishes is much longer, and much more can be found on the menus of Kyiv’s Indian restaurants. The Kyiv Post checked out some of the Ukrainian capital’s best Indian eateries.
Established in 1997, Himalaya is the oldest Indian restaurant in Kyiv. It is decorated with subtle wooden carvings, giving a classical Indian appearance, along with paintings of traditional famous Indian sights on the walls. Indian classical music and the dim lighting make the restaurant’s ambiance very soothing.
Himalaya offers a variety of authentic Indian food and is famous for its samosas — a fried-triangular pastry made with a savory filling of spiced potatoes and nuts. Popular appetizers include reshmi kebab, or boneless chicken in cashew sauce, roasted in tandoor, as well as chicken tikka and paneer tikka — cubes of paneer marinated in garlic-ginger paste and Indian spices, and then roasted in a tandoor.
Also on the menu is a delicious mutton dopyaaza — lamb with onion and capsicum in a spicy gravy, and rogan josh. Some popular vegetarian dishes include sham savera, or balls of cheese stuffed with nuts and dried fruits in a thick gravy, and shahee paneer — paneer cheese served with tomato-onion gravy. Himalaya also serves delicious gulab jamuns. There is no pork and beef on the menu. It is one of the most moderately priced Indian restaurants in Kyiv, and it also offers delivery.
Prices: samosa — Hr 72, chicken tikka — Hr 148, mutton dopyaza — Hr 162, gulab jamun — Hr 72, masala chai — Hr 48
80 Velyka Vasylkivska St. 11 a.m.— 11 p. m.
Sutra is a pricier Indian restaurant with lavish design. The restaurant is called Sutra because its walls are lavishly carved with sculptures depicting the art of love according to the ancient Indian book “Kama Sutra.” Some walls also feature marble and carved Indian gods, and heroes of ancient books and legends.
Each wall is like an exhibit in a museum of Indian culture. One of them, called the Wall of the Fulfillment of Dreams, has small opaque glass doors, lit from behind, each of which has a statue of an Indian god hidden behind them. The god behind the door a client chooses to open is supposed to tell their fortune.
This place offers delicious butter chicken, rogan josh, malai kofta and lamb spinach — mutton cooked with fresh spinach, fresh chilies, onion sauce and cream. Seafood is also on the menu. Gulab jamun and gajar halwa, or a carrot-based sweet pudding, are Sutra’s most popular Indian desserts. Home delivery is also available.
Prices: Malai kofta — Hr 275, lamb spinach — Hr 395, butter chicken — Hr 250, gulab jamun — Hr 200, gajar halwa — Hr 200
3 Proviantska St. 5 p.m.— 11 p.m.
New Bombay Palace
Established in 2001, this restaurant features luxurious handcrafted furniture brought from India. They also offer the outdoor seating for guests.
The restaurant offers exotic Indian food prepared by Indian chefs. Some of the most popular dishes are dal makhani — black lentils cooked with tomatoes and cream, chicken tikka masala — roasted chicken in tomato gravy with Indian spices, and butter chicken.
New Bombay Palace offers porkbased dishes, as well as some seafood and Chinese dishes. Mutton seekh kebab, or minced mutton cooked on skewers with Indian spices, is also on the menu. The restaurant is also known for its mixed tikka platter, which is an assortment of tandoori chicken, pork and fish. They also offer delicious gulab jamuns. The restaurant is a bit pricey and does not offer beef. Home delivery is available.
Prices: Butter chicken — Hr 239, rogan josh — Hr 239, mixed tikka platter — Hr 499, dal makhani — Hr 209, gulab jamun (two pieces) — Hr 150
33A Druzhby Narodiv Blvd. 12 p.m.— 11 p.m.
This newly opened café, with a chef originally from India, is a vibrant place as colourful as a Sari, the traditional Indian attire for women. The place has a very relaxed atmosphere and friendly service. The restaurant is also not expensive and pet-friendly.
Saravsari serves a variety of Indian dishes, such as vegetable or chicken samosas, vegetarian and chicken kathi rolls, either with paneer or with chicken and vegetables, chicken tikka, shahee paneer, butter chicken, and more. They also offer gulab jamun and kulfi — Indian ice-cream with nuts. A variety of beverages like beer, wine, lemonade, coconut drinks, and the traditional yogurtbased drink Lassi are also served. A takeaway option is available.
Prices: Vegetable or chicken samosa — Hr 77, veg kathi roll — Hr 77, paneer/chicken biryani — Hr 107, butter chicken — Hr 107, gajar halwa — Hr 57, masala tea — Hr 47
4B Sichovykh Striltsiv St. 1 p. m. — 11 p.m.
A waiter serves traditional Indian dishes at New Bombay Palace restaurant in Kyiv on June 21. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)