Motivated by her grandmother’s 100-yr-aged royal recipes, Shahnoor Jehan released her catering business enterprise ‘Khassa’ to showcase authentic Hyderabadi cuisine. And of course, it does go over and above the beloved biryani.
Succulent shammi kebabs, tender mutton shikhampur, wealthy tamate ka kut and dum ka murgh, and decadent qubani ka meetha — the menu of Khassa, a catering assistance, is complete of mouthwatering dishes. The roots of these dishes are tied to reliable Hyderabadi cuisine, and go outside of just the traditional dum biryani.
At the forefront of this culinary journey is 56-calendar year-outdated Shahnoor Jehan from Hyderabad, a property chef and caterer, who is also affectionately identified as Noora.
“I’ve been cooking since I was a youthful female,” she tells The Better India, adding, “My driving pressure has been the very simple actuality that I delight in it so a lot. Sooner or later, I obtained married, and experienced little ones. My partner and youngsters would phone people today house to eat what I experienced cooked. My son’s friends would constantly convey to me, ‘Aunty, you must consider up cooking (skillfully)’. The recipes I use have been passed on from my excellent-grandmother and so on, and finally came to me.”
Shahnoor, who has no professional chef teaching and is a BA graduate, commenced Khassa, which is urdu for ‘cooked food’, in 2015. The daughter of an IAS officer claims, “At 1st, I made use of to take modest orders from household members and friends who had been experiencing my cooking for many years. With the advent of the world wide web, and after encouragement from my young children and their good friends, I assumed I would get my cooking forward, and started out Khassa.”
Steeped in record
The recipes made use of in Khassa have been a part of Shahnoor’s relatives legacy for generations, and are more than a hundred decades outdated.
“My (maternal) grandmother’s cooking was influenced prominently by the flavours of Yemen, wherever she was from. I picked up her approaches and recipes,” she claims.
Her cooking dates back again to her childhood house, Shah Manzil, which is the current-day Raj Bhavan. This house, which belonged to her grandfather, was so identified as simply because he was affectionately known as Shah Nawaab.
“Whenever I arrived back property from the hostel, I would view my mom prepare dinner and would from time to time support her out,” claims Shahnoor. Her mother, Faiq Jehan, has also been a catalyst in Shahnoor’s penchant for cooking regal Hyderabadi dishes.
Her grandmother, Muzaffar Unissa Begum, was the daughter of the Sultan of erstwhile Yemen, and her grandfather Nawab Ahmed Baig, was the son of late Shahzore Jung. As a consequence, Shahnoor’s food stuff has major and merged influences from equally Yemen as very well as India. “I also picked up a couple methods from my mom-in-law, Shaheda Begum,” she adds.
Bringing anything various to the desk
Getting learnt how to make these dishes with familial influences, Shahnoor’s century-aged recipes are now bringing concealed features of Hyderabadi cuisine to crucial acclaim.
“I by no means took up biryani in my cooking,” she suggests, including, “It’s accessible almost everywhere, and I wanted to provide forward anything that was various.”
Among the the dishes that Shahnoor enjoys cooking the most are haleem and mutton roast. The previous is a stew of meat and lentils, which are pounded into a thick paste. The dish is synonymous with Ramadan, and is the standard hors d’oeuvres served at weddings and other social celebrations. These dishes are adored by her young children as well, and Khassa receives the most orders for them.
“Dum ka murgh is also extremely much in desire,” Shahnoor says, incorporating, “But touchwood, so much, a great deal of my dishes do very well. The orders I get adhere to no pattern — at times I get just one a day, from time to time they can be two to three also.”
Noorani seviyan, the most up-to-date dessert addition to the menu, was created by Shahnoor’s grandmother. “The dish is designed of vermicelli,” she tells The Far better India and provides that it uses sugar, saffron, milk and product. It is garnished with pistachios and vark. The dish is sensitive and crisp on the outside the house, and soft on the inside, owing to the sugar and saffron soaking in the middle levels.
She goes on to share, “I’m grateful that people today like my food so much. And while I do obtain a lot of orders for biryani, probably in the future I will start out serving that as properly.”
‘Asal nizam cuisine’
The expanse of Hyderabadi cuisine is extensive. From the confines of Shahnoor’s house, Khassa provides to light-weight concealed treasures that several other Hyderabadi residence cooks have also retained absent from. These century-aged recipes are a journey by means of asal nizam cuisine, kept alive by a number of like her.
Shahnoor keeps away from reinventing them, and all the authentic recipes are kept intact. As a outcome, she stays firmly planted in her lineage. Her undertaking is therefore deeply rooted in the City of Pearls.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)