the litmus, when our happy as a canary, crazy-cook friend Sai called me and wifey over for dinner. While all else on the dining table were flavourful, but my memory is fresh with the mushroom sauce that dripped my grilled chicken.
There is something mysterious about the broccoli. The effect begins with its spelling. It sounds like new villain in town! It could sound like a new Italian music composer! Some may build a connection with secret agent 007! But there is a connection that IZ, the authentic tandoori restaurant in Grand Hyatt, has established and an irrefutably delicious connection at that! And that is their signature dish – grilled broccoli!
IZ is perhaps Grand Hyatt, Garhoud, Dubai’s best kept secret. They serve the most delectable north Indian fare without the sensational fanfare that other restaurants deploy. I love the setting – partially inside, surrounded in dark woody hues and outside seating beside a roaring fountain. Why I say ‘best kept secret’ is because of its location. You could miss it, unless you can smell the ‘tandoori’ air just around it.
So, sitting down for a lunch meeting at IZ, was a very happy and special moment. Conversations alternated between food to business. The very pleasant PR Manager Leenu graciously hosted me and my colleague as we sat to discuss the imminent launch of IZ Brunch. And of all things included, she presented me with a plate of grilled broccoli.
I brandished my fork and knife and dumped 2 florets on my plate. I know broccoli. I know how they taste. I use them myself, regularly. I cut down a decent part of the floret and popped it in my mouth. And after that, my vocabulary got drastically changed. So did our conversation!
I havent tasted broccoli that sensational! Perfectly cooked. Tender yet crunchy. And from deep within, came a buttery taste that complimented the florets so beautifully. Broccoli overtook the table. Broccoli beat the chicken and salmon. Shamelessly, I pulled in the last floret on the plate, lest it gets taken away by the smiling and efficient IZ staff. I requested Leenu to call the chef over. Chef Aftab is a very humble man. I conveyed that if anybody can make broccoli taste this sensational, then that person must be a very capable chef! I have also managed to convince them to teach me how to grill broccoli to perfection and part with the recipe. And I will not be able to share it on this blog.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Order the grilled broccoli. You will learn to love your green veggies.
- Order the grilled broccoli. You will revel in the taste.
- Order the grilled broccoli. They are on the brunch menu. Yayy!
- Order the grilled broccoli. They can only be beaten by their signature mushrooms.
- Order the grilled broccoli. I strongly recommend it.
PS: I am negotiating with Grand staff and Leenu to rename the broccoli as Killer Brocs! I am putting my weight to that!
Brunch at IZ the tandoori restaurant at Grand Hyatt launches early May 2014. Watch this space for more.
I admit that I was very nervous as I promised my wife that I will cook fish. This was the first time I was attempting to be friends with fish. The last statement might come as a surprise to many who are acquainted with me and my vernacular belonging. I was ready with everything, including a new griddle that I bought. And so, with all the courage and confidence I could amass and special blessing from Jamie Oliver, I set off to cook salmon steaks. I was super-delighted with the results. A good dinner and happy wife are strong signs of posting the recipe on my blog.
I started with 2 fresh salmon steaks. I had the skin on. Was not too sure if I should cook with skin, so decided to knife it off. The steak might have some bones. Use your knife to find it and pluck them out. Salt both sides and rub in some olive oil. Let it rest.
For the salsa, I used 2 medium-sized cucumbers and cut them into small pieces after peeling off the skin. Continued the same with a big tomato. Threw in 3-4 young leeks. Open up an avocado and scoop out the flesh. Roughly chop it up and put some lemon juice over it to stop discolouration. Throw them all together in a bowl, add red chilli flakes, pinch of salt and lots of lemon juice. A quick swig of olive oil and some chopped mint on top. You could add in a couple of spoons of orange or pineapple juice. Mix them all well and keep aside.
Meanwhile, put the griddle on the stove till it is as hot as Ramsey’s temper. Put in the salmon steaks and hear them scream on the griddle. Keep them on for 7-8 minutes on the side and then turn them over. It will look nice and well done. A little extra grilling will keep the steak crunchy on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside. Repeat the same for the other side. I was experimenting on getting the criss-cross griddle marks correct. Will perfect them the next time. Take them off heat and allow them to rest a while. You may notice the juices in the griddle pan; pour them back on the steaks.
Now plate them. Steak first and spoon generous amounts of the salsa on top. Take a picture. Sit down and eat well. And do not look at the kitchen sink. That is for another time.