Nile Bukhara: Vegetarian Fetar Alternative in Maadi
43 Misr Helwan Agriculture Rd.
noon - 1am
The favoured destination for authentic North Indian cuisine offers set menus that make the perfect alternative to a typical fetar meal. We chose the vegetarian tour for two (139LE) and picked a few plates from the non-vegetarian set menu to sample.
Courses at Nile Bukhara begin with an amuse bouche to open the senses. Ours kicked off with a bite: a plate of pickled onions paired with a fresh mint vinaigrette. As soon as we were pickled out, a medley of colourful curries covered our table including vegetarian classics like aloo mutter (potato and peas), dal (lentils), and palak paneer (spinach and fresh cheese).
To soak up the curry, an assortment of carbs—papadum, pullao, samosas, and naan—is within hands-reach. Thin, spicy papadum crisps can be an oily disappointment, but Bukhara’s is dry, as it should be, and when broken over the fluffy rice grains of Indian basmati pullao and peas, is a crunchy, appetising topping.
Bukhara’s vegetable samosas are pyramid pockets that point to the heavens. The popular street food and tiffin (a light lunch in India) are a fried pastry packed with a batter of pre-cooked potatoes, peas, and spices, but would be better served with a sauce or mango chutney. Take caution; devour slowly. The stuffing is usually piping hot.
From the tandoori kitchen, in plain view from our seats, New Delhi native Chef Rana dishes out the baked and barbecued delicacies from the cylindrical, clay oven representative of South Asia. Rana stretches naan dough to an oblong shape, presses the round against the walls of the tandoori oven until flaky, and brushes the flat bread with melted butter. With a slightly sweet end, the Indian staple mops up our plates.
Into the last week of Ramadan fetars, spice it up a bit and go Indian at the twenty-year-old Nile Bukhara, where friendly servers have yet to be jaded and where we’re never too old for the well-needed bib.