Khiva is brought to you by BJN hospitality. Khiva is their venture into serving the infamous Bukhara cuisine to its patrons at an Affordable Value for money price without compromising an ounce in quality or quantity. Their vision is to be the number one restaurant in the Indian fine dining segment that can serve to you authentically accurate Bukhara food.
What Is Khiva?
Khiva is a town in Uzbekistan which is known for its warmth and hospitality. It is also known as the Land of Rugged people. The people that reside in this town are simple people with a strong will and have no place for greater luxuries in life. They find happiness in the simpler things of life. Whilst they are simple people they are also known to go to great lengths in hospitality for guests and travellers. The restaurant draws inspiration from this and tries to replicate that in their Service and Ambience here. Did you know that it is one of the oldest cities in the world?
Ambience At khiva
The Ambience at khiva has been recreated to give you the feeling of earthiness. Roshan Nichani is the man behind the entire décor for this restaurant. Its furniture & décor takes inspirations from the culture of the city. The painting on the wall denote the game of Buzkashi in which people ride Turkish horses battling to gain possession of a sheep. By Default you wouldn’t get any Spoons or forks to dine as they believe that true dining is done by hands and I would completely agree with them on that
Bukhara Cuisine at Its best
Khiva serves authentic Bukhara food. Bukhara is a cuisine that uses the tandoor and the “Dum” method of cooking food. It’s a method of cooking which originated from the North West frontier. The North West frontier consisted of parts of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and northern 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. 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 is 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 a 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. There are very few restaurants who have mastered the Art of Bukhara like the Team at ITC and Khiva strives to be right there.
Food at Khiva
The Menu at Khiva is dominated by dishes that are cooked in tandoor. The starters & Mains are mostly done in Dum and those are the dishes which steal the show here. We started off with the Shorbas which are soups that consist of broths of chicken and mutton seasoned with spices to give you a refreshed feeling before the start of your meal.
The dishes here take time to come to your table for which the staff proactively lets you know. Let’s go through some of the top dishes we had here and which we would recommend having.
The Starters are served with a choice of 5 dips, the Chilly and Garlic sauce, the Chiku and Tamarind Sauce, the Tomato and Garlic sauce, the Mint and Yoghurt sauce and the regular mint chutney. These are all in house dips and are really top notch stuff. The Chiku & tamarind dip was the show stealer for all of us and was accompanied in maybe all of the dishes that we had.
Chandni Chicken Kabab
The Malai tikka equivalent of Khiva is the Chandni kabab. Chicken morsels marinated with their special marinade and cream and cooked to perfection in the tandoor. The team here is very particular about the temperature and texture of the meat and that shows in the resultant dish. The chicken has retained its pinkish colour but tastes absolutely top notch. Goes so well with the Chiku & tamarind Dip
Peshawari Paneer Tikka
A Tikka for the veg lovers. The reason I am mentioning here is due to the way this tikka was made. It was made using a Yellow chilli paste which added a distinct flavour to the tikka. The paneer was fresh and had not lost its original texture post cooking in the tandoor. The tikka went well with almost all of the dips.
Subz Lacheela Kabab
The Subz Lacheela Kebab was another stellar starter that we had. Consisting of mouth-watering assorted vegetable roundels cooked and served with fried vermicelli on top of it was another starter which surprised us with its flavours. While the tikka was very soft and had a flavour of its own due to the way the veggies were intertwined in this dish the crunchy element added by the vermicelli took the dish a notch higher. We loved this without any dips
I have written a lot about these kababs on its history and how good these kababs are but the Galouti served here were absolutely divine. They can give ITC hotels a run for their money in terms of taste & texture. Whilst you would pay Rs 1k there for a plate you get them here at just Rs 350 which is a steal. This was the dish of the day for us in all aspects.
Saffron Flavoured Seekh Kababs
Dish consisted of Saffron flavoured double minced Lamb Seekh kababs. Whilst the presentation of this dish was very basic but the kabab is one of the best you can get in the city for this price. Another dish which would give ITC a big run for its money. These kababs are made to just melt in your mouth and let the Indian spices do the talking. Something about Lamb when it’s cooked well it makes you forget chicken.
Chowki Ki Tikki
This one is the Galouti kabab for the veggie fanboys. Consisting of Potato tikki’s filled with cheese & raisins and served with a tangy saunth Ki chutney. I must say this is the first time I enjoyed vegetarian tikki’s as much as I did for the lamb Galouti. The cheese would just melt in your mouth and the Saunth Ki Chutney adds a nice tang to the tikki’s. The tikki’s were very soft and were replicated very well to their non veg counterparts
The Tandoori chicken counterpart in Khiva. Consists of Chicken grilled in tandoor with Indian spices and served on a sword. Yes An Actual Sword. These were the swords used by the fearsome warriors of Genghis khan and was a dish which they used to feast on after war. All of the tandoori dishes served in Khiva were top notch and there was no exception for this dish as well. One of the best tandooris that you would get in the city at this price point Period..
Murgh Mozzarella Kabab
This dish was something which was the only starter that disappointed me. The Murgh Mozzarella kebab in my opinion isn’t an authentic dish but a fusion that is being done with European cuisine for god knows what reason. The morsels of chicken were soft and moist, but somehow failed to appeal when combined with cheese and crushed pepper. It may appeal to people who love having a lot of cheese but I would have the other authentic Bukhara dishes anytime of the day
It’s the Khiva version of a yummy Tawa Chicken. Consisting of chicken tandoori sleeves stir fried with tomatoes with a general sprinkle of coriander and fresh ginger. This dish wasn’t made in dum but the spices and moderately spicy flavours of the Meat combined with its masala was top notch. We loved having it with the soft naans that were served
Nalli ka Saalan
Dish consisted of tender cooked lamb shanks cooked in dum in a brown onion based gravy. This dish had that distinct dum flavour in its gravy and the tender cooked lamb shanks were cooked to perfection with the meat just falling off the bones. This dish is served with the Khameeri Ki Roti, the soft tandoori roti fermented with egg.
Murgh Peshawari is another one of their signature main courses that consists of Chicken Cooked in dum in a brown onion based gravy. For me I felt the gravy was similar to the nihari but it could be due to the way both the dishes are cooked. That said the dish had a smoky onion based gravy with soft chicken morsels and went will with the naans served.
Their Signature Dish is the Dal Khiva. Similar to the dal peshawari the Lentils here are cooked in Dum for 18 hours before being tampered and presented on the table. A Dish which can hold its own when it comes to having some of the best Dal’s in town. The biggest win for this dish would be the price it’s being served to you at. At Rs 340 you get to eat a dal which is close to the dals served by ITC & Westin. The dals there are much more costly. A dish that’s a must have for veggies here
The biryanis served in Khiva are very similar to the ones served at Dum Pukht. The Biryani is cooked in Dum with Indian spices, onions, ginger garlic paste etc. and meat. Post being cooked its served with a Mirch ka Saalan & burhaani raita. The biryani has absolutely no spice in it but has a masala which is intensely flavourful and when mixed with the Meat, rice and Raita you get a melange of flavours. You can try it with Lamb or chicken whatever suits your palette. There aren’t any boneless options and I would recommend you have it with the bone itself as that adds to the flavour when cooked in Dum
Khiva is a restaurant which will serve you food that you would get in 5 star restaurants in the city at a very affordable and value for money price. If you want to dine in the same way that you would dine in ITC or a kangan but with a budget of rs 2k then blindly head to khiva. It is a restaurant which is serving some really authentic Bukhara cuisine at a really affordable price.