The undisputed Nawab of taste is here to delight the connoisseurs of Awadi cuisine. Food buffs who leave no opportunity to try everything good that is served in the name of Awadhi food are converging at Trident-Gurgaon to savour the delights being served as part of the weeklong Awadhi cuisine festival that is ongoing till Sunday the 25th of January at the Trident-Gurgaon. Needless to say, even the connoisseurs are leaving the hotel licking their fingers.
Little wonder those who cherish Awadhi cuisine are converging at Trident. After all, the Nawab of Awadhi food Dr. Izzat Hussain is in the NCR commanding the expert chefs at Trident to add a little more of this and a little more of that. It is these subtleties and his special care in adding ingredients in such a manner that they retain their odour, taste and colour that has made Dr. Izzat Hussain respectable even among the best of chefs. The great respect that Dr. Hussain commands among the chefs was seen last month when he took a workshop of chefs at The Oberoi-Delhi or when he organized a culinary workshop at Jims Jungle Retreat (or JJR) in Dhela, a village close to Corbett Tiger Reserve in which Dr. Hussain served the guests with the tastiest of his delicacies. There too, some of the best critiques of food couldn’t resist savouring the food that is nothing less than a gourmet’s delight.
Interestingly, Izzat Hussain has no formal training as a chef. A direct descendent of the Nawabs of Awadh, he had grown up relishing tasty food in his house. But he never knew he would end up cooking food that even the trained cooks would love to eat. It was after he completed his course in Unani medicine and much after he was a married man that Dr. Hussain realized he had it in him to cook the best of delicacies.
The facts that he is a Yunani physician and a direct descendent of the last Nawab of Awadh – Wajid Ali Shah – proved to be blessings in disguise for Dr. Izzat Hussain who gradually mastered the art of applying the principles of Yunani medicine to give a healthy spin to his brand of Awadhi cuisine. Tells Dr. Hussain: “As a chef I add whatever it takes to make my dishes taste good. But as a physician, I make sure to add spices and herbs that counteract its ill effects.”
While talking to Dr. Hussain, it’s difficult to distinguish whether one is talking to a Unani doctor or an ace expert of Awadhi cooking. For this reason, it’s not easy to decipher the culinary secrets of Dr. Hussain. He uses milk instead of water to make gravy for mutton. “This will not only make the curry taste creamier but it will counteract the acidity that the meat creates when eaten in excess,” says he and adds: “Cardamoms I put in are to aid digestion, ginger powder is added for its antioxidant and carminative properties and cinnamon is an elixir for our bodies as it works on the pancreas and enzymes.” Dr. Hussain even tells the foodies and gourmets to eat more than the appetite, gently assuring them that his signature spice blends would ensure that they will suffer no ill effects from eating it. The food is definitely not unpalatable and if after consuming all the good stuff you savour the healing beverage that he creates using ginger and vinegar, you might even end up feeling lighter and more energetic.
There is a flip side too to all this! There is no chance you will not end up overeating. Hence, if you give a visit to Trident – Gurgaon till coming Sunday to try the tastiest of food, also be prepared to work an extra hour shedding the plenty of extra calories you consume. It is only after you have tasted his food that you will realize why a lot many food enthusiasts look forward to participate in cuisine workshops being organized by ladle-wielding Yunani doctor.