Delhi, arguably the culinary capital of India, owes a large part of its flavour heritage to the Mughals. The mouthwatering Chaat, Tandoori Chicken, Naan, and of course the Butter Chicken, all these infamous Indian dishes have somewhere the influence of Mughals on it. However, their modifications have led the Indian Cuisine to the next level of reputation across the Globe. Today, India’s culinary identity is associated with Butter Chicken and Naan; many westerners’ first choice as Indian food is the combination of Butter Chicken with Naan.
Butter Chicken has far more humble origins and was born far closer to home. It only dates back a couple of decades to pre-partition India, and its story takes us to a sweet-shop in Peshawar called Mukhey da Dhaba, owned by an elderly gentleman named Mokha Singh. It was here that young Kundan Lal Gujral worked, and as his grandson Monish Gujral recounts, where he helped invent the Tandoori Chicken that we all love today. There came a time when Mokha Singh’s health deteriorated, and he eventually sold the shop to Gujral. Gujral realised that the Tandoori Chicken hanging on the seekhs above the tandoor all day would tend to dry out if unsold. He then came up with the genius idea of creating a basic gravy with tomatoes, butter, cream and some spices to immerse the Tandoori Chicken pieces in, helping them retain moisture and become palatable again. And thus, was born the Butter Chicken. One should know the basics of Butter Chicken to understand its flavour; the flavour is smoky, creamy, sweet, and little spicy. With this checklist in hand, if you explore the real taste of Butter Chicken in Abu Dhabi, you shall find the countable eateries checking all the boxes. Kura Kura Restaurant is one of them, a chef from Uttrakhand* prepares the delicious Butter Chicken, which is true to its concept.
The Indian flavours are best enjoyed as they are: unaltered, rustic, bold, and appetising. Kura Kura serves the Indian dishes in its original form and multiplies the joy of eating savoury food. Crunchy and soft Punjabi Samosas, smoky Kababs, tangy Chicken lollipops, delectable curries and biryanis, and mouthwatering desserts don’t make a hole in your pocket and gratify the sense with Indian flavours at Kura Kura.
The Biryani has four regional flavours in India: West Bengal, Awadhi, Malabari, and Hyderabadi. Many eateries customise and fuse these basic four Biryanis in their way; Kura Kura’s Biryani is also a modified version of Hyderabadi and West Bengal’s flavours, but it’s delectable. The spicy and well-marinated chicken pieces with Basmati rice and a garnish of fried onions make the mouth water for sure.
The caesar salad is creamy and subtle in flavour and what can be the better option to modify it by keeping the concept intact than using the Malai Tikka in it! Impressive, right? The cheese on the chicken is replaced by malai tikka and additional malai on it in traditional caesar salad, and the outcome is outstanding; Kura Kura’s Caeser Salad is must-try.
The right consistency and texture (mouth fill) are of utmost importance in Ras Malai, and many eateries (even so-called fine dining restaurants) fails to deliver those features in an end product as Ras Malai. Kura Kura doesn’t disappoint, the right texture of milk cake, apt sweetness, and infused combination of flavoured milk (ras) and clotted cream (malai) cake is pretty impressive. It’s a perfect dessert to try after a heavy meal and to satisfy your taste buds.
Well, those who are suspicious about the name ‘Kura Kura’, it’s the reinterpretation of Hindi word – Kurkura (कुरकुरा) which means crispy, just as Kura Kura’s Punjabi Samosa. On that note, ideally, Punjabi Samosa’s crust is thick and crisp, and feeling is subtle and spicy, so Kura Kura knows about this, and their Punjabi Samosas are just a perfect tea time snack to try out while on a stroll at evening.
Kura Kura is here to stay with pronounced unaltered flavours of famous North Indian dishes and pocket-friendly prices, it’s an excellent yet simple eatery in the heart of the Capital and highly recommended for hangouts with friends. Perhaps, a loved one won’t be impressed with the simplicity of this restaurant and interiors, and it’s not recommended for Date (wink). Try Kura Kura for satiating North Indian Food experience and unaltered Indian flavours, which most of the Indian restaurants in Abu Dhabi exercises to keep the global clientele impressed.
*Uttarakhand is a state in India which has produced maximum culinary professionals in India and they know the Mughlai and north Indian flavours very well.
Average Cost: AED 125 for two people (approx.)
Location: Behind Car Clinic, Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi