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Kohinoor Music, pictures, colors, decoration, authentic cuisine - everything here makes us feel like we’re in India


7 Knyaz Boris I str., Sofia
+359 88 253 2541
12:00 - 23:00 (Mon - Fri)
17:00 - 23:00 (Sat)
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Multi Kulti Recommended
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: indian restaurant, kohinoor

“No wife, no life”, laughs Sajjad Laskar, chef of Indian restaurant Kohinoor, when asked why he came to Bulgaria. His wife is Bulgarian and after an unsuccessful attempt to live in India (she couldn’t get used to the climate and was constantly sick for 5 months), they moved to Bulgaria. Good decision for them and for us because Kohinoor is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Sofia.

(scroll down for the interview)


The restaurant opened in March 2008 and until December 2013 was situated at Five Corners (now there is another Indian restaurant at the same spot – Spice House). Today Konihoor is located in a lovely house with a fireplace, winter and summer garden in the quiet part of Knyaz Boris I Str. and has more customers than ever.

It was named after the famous Kohinoor diamond – for thousands of years the 105-carat Kohinoor diamond (translated from Hindi – “mountain of light”) was the largest in the world. The date of its finding is still argued – according to some sources it was found 3200 BC., while others claim it was 5000 BC. The diamond was owned by various Indian and Persian rulers and today it’s in the crown of the Queen of Great Britain. The whole team of the restaurant strives to make Kohinoor a gem of authentic Indian cuisine among the restaurants in the capital.

It’s worth visiting the restaurant because of the overall feeling that you are in a small India – music, pictures, colors, decoration, cuisine – everything is authentic. Sajjad himself guarantees: “As a chef, I can say that we strive to offer authentic cuisine, to use authentic products and spices (they buy them from Indian store Sokoni), to maintain high quality, to offer dishes from all Indian states. We do not alter the recipes to adapt them to Bulgarian taste. As far as spiciness is concerned – to achieve the proper taste of some dishes, you need to make them a little hot. We can add more, but not avoid it completely – then the taste would change and would no longer be authentic.” The team is frequently changing the menu to include more and more new dishes. Traditional Indian cuisine has many vegetarian options, so Kohinoor is the right place for vegetarians and vegans. 90 % of customers are Bulgarians and among the foreigners there are Indians, British and Pakistanis.

Sajjad got his cooking skills from his mother who is a great cook and he has loved the kitchen ever since he was a small child. Over the years, it remained his biggest hobby and it was only logical to turn it into a profession.

His favorite childhood dish is dum pukht biryani – rice with potatoes and meat. He prefers lamb because it remains juicy, unlike chicken which gets too dry. The dish is complicated to prepare and time consuming, but worth the effort – the flavor is so strong that you can smell when it’s ready even 50 meters away.

He misses India like any other person misses their homeland, but he feels great in Bulgaria, because here are his wife and his work… He likes nature here especially: “There are few capitals in the world that have mountains so close to downtown. I like the climate – 4 wonderful seasons. In the summer I love to go fishing – it’s one of my hobbies, I’ve almost become a professional. I sit with the fishing rod on the shore of one of the beautiful lakes and relax completely.”

As far as Bulgarian cuisine is concerned, he likes green herbs – fresh and dry, and the fact that the products are fresh and of high quality. His favorite Bulgarian dish is prepared by his wife – roasted meat with potatoes – usually lamb, but he likes it with pork ribs as well. He also likes rice pudding a lot: “In India, we make it almost the same, only instead of cinnamon we use green cardamom.” He also likes Bulgarian breads, he has even learned to prepare several kinds of them. Home cooking is done primarily by his wife, but he takes part 1-2 times a month. “This is the balance, this is the family, otherwise it doesn’t work,” he concludes.

Interview: Bistra Ivanova
Photos: Stefan Suchev
Translation from Bulgarian: Boyan Boychev
Illustration: Konstantin Zlatkov for
Compote Collective
14 November 2014