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Food @ Trivandrum

Le Arabia: Al Faham After A Long Time

Today again, my parents decided to order in lunch and turns out both of them were actually craving for some Falooda primarily and among the various options for the same thats in our nearby area of Kazhakuttom, the one from Le Arabia is whats their favourite… So, we ordered our lunch from there… While my parents had the Falooda, I on the other hand got reminded that its been a very long time since I had an Al Faham Chicken and from what I remember, I used to like the one they serve at Le Arabia as well… So, thats what I asked for myself and here we are 🙂

For those may not be aware, Al Faham is basically an Arabic style Barbecue where meat is marinated in spice mixes (said to be of Emirati / Omani origin) and then grilled over charcoal and its a recipe that can be seen used with most meats, though the version that uses Chicken is the most popular one at-least here in Kerala… The Al Faham, just like the Shawarma became very popular in Kerala thanks to the sizeable population here with exposure to the middle east… Kerala has had a history with the Arabs that dates back to more than a thousand years, but the migrant workers who went over there over than last few decades, who brought back fond memories is the reason why dishes like the Al Faham started becoming popular here… In fact, the popularity is so huge that these days, its actually hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t sell these… Of-course, the recipes have indeed evolved to cater to the local taste and if you ask people who still actively travel to the Middle East, they will tell you that what we get here is not what you get over there… But its okay… I mean we all know how Indo-Chinese cuisine happened and we already have multiple variants of Indo-Persian fusions which are very popular as well… So, why not, right?? 😛

Anyways, what I placed the order for myself was an option from the Combos list in Le Arabia’s menu which is said to include Half Chicken Al Faham, two Kuboos or Kerala Porotta of which I chose the Kuboos option, Chicken Gravy, Mayo and Salad… However, when the item arrived, there was only one Kuboos and no Chicken Gravy and instead, what I got was the Half Chicken Al Faham as two Quarter Chicken pieces along with one Kuboos, some Mayo and Salad as can be seen from the pics included here…

Now coming to the Chicken itself, first of all, unfortunately, the Chicken ended up being overcooked for me… The leg piece was comparatively better as it still had some softness left whereas the breast meat was tough and dry inside… Arabic grills especially Al Faham is actually well known and beloved for their incredibly juicy and succulent meat where the meat is seen to fall off the bone at the slightest touch, that essentially feels like it melts inside one’s mouth… But sadly, this is a common mistake made by chefs especially when things get too busy… So, can’t really blame them entirely too… Anyways, regarding the taste, the seasoning felt spot on for me with just the right intensity of the spices used with flavours of Coriander, Cardamom and what felt like Dry Lemon taking the lead and if I am not mistaken, I also felt the taste of Ginger, Garlic, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cloves as well… Overall, felt nice and I wish the Chicken was not overcooked… There was nothing special about the Salad and Kuboos as they were pretty much like what we see in every other place that serves them… The Mayo here appeared to have been made by using Garlic in it as well, which is again a popular in places that serves Arabic grills and Shawarmas…

If you ask me, the best way to eat this is by tearing up the Kuboos and make bite sized rolls using the meat, mayo and salad… Of-course, I think it would need more Mayo and salad that they have given for the amount of meat… Anyways, overall, I felt that flavours were spot on, but sadly the meat being overcooked ended up ruining the experience… I am hoping that next time, it would be done right… Fingers crossed… 🙂

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