Arabian nights by the Arabian Sea

From baba ghanoush to baklava, the food festival at Grand Hyatt features the authentic flavours of the Middle East 

Published: 28th January 2023 06:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2023 06:38 AM   |  A+A-

Chef Aya al-Abeed and chef Mahmoud Al Raoush

Express News Service

KOCHI: Offering a grand Middle Eastern dining experience, an Arabic food festival is being held at Malabar Cafe at Grand Hyatt, with a rich spread of 30 dishes.  The 10-day food festival is headed by chef Mahmoud Al Raoush, executive chef of Grand Hyatt Amman in Jordan, and assisted by Sr chef de partie, chef Aya al-Abeed, one of the first lady chefs from the region. 

“This is our first visit to Kerala. We heard the people in Kerala love Arabic food and so we thought of offering some authentic Middle Eastern recipes for the people here,” says chef Mahmoud.  “Our concept is Middle Eastern, which includes Arab, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian and Jordanian cuisine. 

Quzi rice with roasted whole lamb

The food festival also features a mix of all these dishes,” says chef Aya. From kebabs and luscious dips to lip-smacking varieties of desserts, the food fest offers a delectable spread of rich dishes prepared using meat, lamb and special spices. The chefs explain, “We have tried to bring authentic flavours for the guests and have used authentic spices and ingredients to prepare the dishes.”  

Baba ghanoush, made of finely diced roasted eggplant, is one of the highlights when it comes to appetisers. Mutabal is another notable one. We use olive oil and organic vegetables to prepare our dishes. Although what makes Arabic food is the use of spices, it is not ‘spicy’ in taste,” says Mahmoud.   

Unique main course dishes made using the traditional kabsa, ouzi, qadri all rice used in Saudi Arabia are another attraction. Quzi rice with roasted whole lamb is one of the must-have. Beef motafa with garlic and lemon sauce is also a mouthful of heaven. 

The dessert corner includes the traditional Turkish baklava, coconut basbousa, layali lubnan and Balah el Sham.  The fest will conclude on Sunday.


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