If tasty Kashmiri food is what you crave, Khyen Chyen is the place to head to. They have three outlets spread across the city, and the one we went to was at DLF Cross Point. It is a quaint little place, beautifully done up with trinkets from the owner Mr. Nasir’s home, who hails from Kashmir. The music playing is also Kashmiri folk, sung by Kashmiri artists, so this is as close to the real deal as it gets. Mr. Nasir’s vision is much larger than just offering authentic Kashmiri food- he wants to take Kashmiri food to the world, and he rightly believes that the unique flavors and variety of the food from the region is capable of being loved and appreciated by a much larger population.We started off the meal with a lovely cup of Zaffran Qahwa, which had a lovely aroma and delicate taste of saffron and just soothed not just our palates but also our souls.
Next, we had a platter of vegetarian appetizers which consisted of Buzith Hyederr, which were nicely marinated, grilled mushrooms, Buzith Tczaman (tandoor-grilled paneer), and Soya Champ. All three were flavored with mustard oil and delicately spiced, and what really amazed us was how soft and moist the soya champ was, which at most places turns out rather chewy. Along with these veg dishes, we also had Tabakh Maaz (crisp fried mutton ribs), Maaz Seekh Kabab (mutton seekh kebab), and Kabab Kanti. The tabakh maaz had juicy mutton with a crisp covering and light seasoning, and tasted wonderful with the chutney and onions they had served alongside. The mutton seekh kebabs were moist, flavorsome, and delicious on their own, but what was even better was the kabab kanti, which consisted of the same kebabs cooked with green chilies, tomatoes, and onions. We enjoyed this dish with some soft and thin rumali rotis.Moving on to the main course, we loved how each dish was presented in beautiful copper vessels. The vegetarian dishes consisted of Kashmiri Razmah that was slow-cooked to perfection in a thick, creamy, and mildly spicy curry, Hyederr Muttor Tczaman (mushroom and green peas sautéed in a nice spice blend), Palak Tczaman (lightly fried paneer cubes cooked with spinach and spices), Tamatar Tczaman (lightly fried paneer cubes cooked with tomatoes and spices). We were simply floored by the Palak Tczaman- the thick gravy coating the paneer had spinach mixed with spices and was incredibly flavorful.And the non-vegetarian dishes were equally, if not more, delicious. The Rista, which consisted of spongy, pounded meatballs simmered in cockscomb and saffron curry, was spicy and delicious, while the Gushtaba, which had the same pounded meatballs, cooked in a light, mildly spiced yogurt-based curry, flavored with mint powder. The Lahabdaar Kabab had a flat, diamond-shaped patty of hand-minced mutton, slow-cooked in a spicy curry, while the Daniwal Korma had morsels of mutton cooked in yogurt curry flavored with coriander and turmeric, and was immensely flavorsome. We also really liked the Chicken Marchwangan Korma which had chicken on-the-bone in a fiery gravy made with dried Kashmiri red chilies, cumin, and tamarind. And the quintessential Kashmiri dish, Rogan Josh had mutton on-the-bone cooked with Kashmiri shallots, cockscomb, saffron, and spices. We relished these dishes with some crispy naan and tandoori rotis and Batta, or steamed rice.What we really enjoyed in this meal was that each dish had a distinct taste, and while everything was really well-flavored with painstakingly hand-pounded spices, none of the dishes were overpowered by spices, and the flavor of the main ingredient came through clearly. All these dishes are slow-cooked, and are clear labors of love, and that reflects in the taste.
We ended this delightful meal with a Fireen, a creamy semolina pudding mixed with almonds and saffron. It was very mildly sweetened, and was really tasty.Overall, this place not only offers great food, but also great value for money. The dishes are priced very reasonably for the quantity (and the quality) served. Khyen Chyen is highly recommended!
Overall Rating: 4.75/5
Location: G-11, DLF Cross Point, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 78620 00707; 0124 4231919; 85277 39955