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Arabian delight

If you are game for an adventure of the gourmet kind, check this out


The glowing red grills outside the row of restaurants opposite the University Library at Palayam drew our attention to the place. On closer inspection we saw chickens, three on a rod, slowly turning in the machine that grills the chicken. Five such rods make a single grill, which is made in Malappuram district, according to Aamir of Zam Zam Ice Fruits, one of the restaurants in the area. The machine helps grill the chicken uniformly, which turns from light brown to dark brown.

Every few months, the menu in some of the restaurants in the city goes in for a revamp and if it was Broasted chicken that appealed to foodies a few months ago, now it is `Chicken Shawai.'

Zam Zam is no fancy restaurant; it looks more like a fast food joint. We order half a Chicken Shawai and Khuboos to go with the dish. We also order two Tandoori rotis. The place is crowded at 8 p.m. Aamir informs us that Shawai is quite popular with the younger crowd, as they are ready to be adventurous with their food. We are told that `Chicken Shawai' is Arabic for grilled chicken.

When the chicken arrives it is quite hot, right off the grill. It looks as if it was deep fried, oozing with oil. But we soon find that there is no trace of oil since the chicken is cooked in its own fat with just a hint of pepper, making it just right. The meat is soft and is done just like Tandoori chicken but it tastes different since it does not have the taste of Tandoori chicken. It takes about half-an-hour to grill a chicken evenly. There is green chilly and carrot pickle to go with the chicken. The Khuboos, however, left us cold. But the Tandoori rotis were soft and tasty.

Chicken Shawai is ideal for youngsters watching their weight. You can wash it down with a bottle of beer, but all that was available there was coke. You can order Chicken Shawai at any of the restaurants in the same row as Zam Zam, but it is available only after 4 p.m.

Wallet Factor

Chicken Shawai costs Rs.140 for a full chicken. Half-a-chicken would be enough for two people.

You can choose from Tandoori roti, chappati, romali roti or khuboos, which cost Rs. 4 a piece.

BIMAL SIVAJI

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