Retired Bengaluru Man Runs Samarkand’s (Uzbekistan) First And The Only Indian Restaurant, The Indian Kitchen

by Tejashee Kashyap
Retired Bengaluru Man Runs Samarkand’s (Uzbekistan) First And The Only Indian Restaurant, The Indian Kitchen

In the heart of Samarkand, where the ancient Silk Road once flourished, a new chapter is written in the form of Indian restaurants and cuisine. Mohammad Naushad, a retired man from Bengaluru, arrived in Samarkand as a visitor a year ago and made the sole Indian restaurant in Uzbekistan’s second-largest city.

Samarkand’s Only Indian Restaurant

In recent years, Samarkand has witnessed a burgeoning interest in Indian cuisine. They have been offering locals and visitors a delightful journey through India’s diverse flavours and aromas. After retiring from the steel sector, Bengaluru resident Mohammad Naushad intended to explore the world. He came to Samarkand a year ago as a tourist, but his need for his masala tea and paratha in the morning led him to stay and create the sole Indian restaurant in Uzbekistan’s second-biggest city.

Named The Indian Kitchen, it is a restaurant that provided a welcome break for Indian students studying medicine in this area who were missing Indian food. Locals enjoy the extensive menu, which includes dishes like chicken biryani and dosas. Naushad has visited numerous places and has always been able to find some spot where Indian food is served. He was shocked to learn that there wasn’t a single restaurant or cafe in Samarkand that provided Indian dishes.

The restaurant serves between 350 and 400 people a day and catering orders for weddings and other occasions. As he loves everything to be prepared fresh at the restaurant, he begins his day by taking his staff to the bazaar to buy groceries. Both residing Indians and Uzbeks love the restaurant.

The locals come there because they make an effort to tailor the well-known Indian meals to their preferences. Indian students come here since the meals are affordable and they may bring food from home. The restaurant’s most well-liked offerings include chicken biryani, which is very distinct from Uzbek Pilaf, and masala dosa.

The restaurant is also considering launching an Indian student tiffin service. Since there aren’t any Indian restaurants in Bukhara or Khiva creating comparable establishments there helps for expansion. Those two cities are other well-liked tourist attractions in Uzbekistan.

Also Read: 8 Unique Things To Do In Uzbekistan’s Tashkent Now That You Can Reach In 3 Hours From Delhi

Indian Food In Foreign Lands

More than 5,000 Indians are living in Uzbekistan, according to the Uzbekistan Embassy in New Delhi. The introduction of Indian restaurants in Samarkand can be traced back to the increasing globalisation and the influx of diverse communities. The Indian diaspora, along with a growing number of locals with an adventurous palate, has fueled the demand for authentic Indian fare. These restaurants serve as cultural bridges, connecting the two distant lands through the universal language of food.

The fusion of flavours and the culinary collaborations between Indian and Uzbek chefs shape a unique culinary identity for the city. Through the aromatic spices and the warm hospitality, a spicy tapestry unfolds. This weaves together the culinary traditions of India and Uzbekistan.

Samarkand has witnessed a burgeoning interest in Indian cuisine, thanks to this restaurant, The Indian Kitchen.

Where: 38, Samarkand, Dahbed, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
When: 11:30 am–9:30 pm

Cover image credits: Instagram/The Indian Kitchen