What’s better than home cooked comforting food? We all would agree that we love to eat food that gives us comfort, happiness and complete satisfaction at all times. We are always in search for food that makes our heart melt and that brings happiness to us and our loved ones. There are a few who aim at keeping age old traditions alive through the food they cook and win hearts with their exotic preparations.
Today, we are glad to feature the very talented Home Chef, Shahnoor Jehan who loves to cook and serve the best of Hyderabadi Cuisine which has been her passion all her life. While her finger-licking-good preparations always had a fan following in her children, especially son Sohrab Mirza, who loves to host parties, her cooking soon gathered more admirers from outside the home. Friendly requests translated into small catering orders from friends and relatives at the behest of daughter Nimrah Mirza who was quick in identifying the unique talent her mother had for conventional Hyderabadi cuisine. Shahnoor took her cooking to the next level in 2015, with the birth of ‘KHASSA’, a brand that has brought many hidden treasures from authentic Hyderabadi cuisine to commercial acclaim. It is a venture that aims to serve an audience looking for delectable, genuine and wholesome Hyderabadi cuisine.
KHASSA, in old Hyderabadi, means cooked food and through it Shahnoor wanted to carry forward the legacy of her royal ancestry. In an effort to bring to life many traditional recipes from her ancestral kitchen of ancient Hyderabad, she insists that rather than reinventing, her food cooked in authentic Hyderabadi style keeps the original flavours intact.
Lovingly called Noora, this true-blue Hyderabadi home chef only aims to give the world the true taste of authentic Hyderabadi cuisine that has become a family legacy and kept alive by only a few like herself.
Shahnoor’s aim is to give the world a look into authentic, traditional Hyderabadi cuisine. Even though she is no professional chef, this BA graduate always had her unique ways around the kitchen. As Shahnoor reminisces on her learnings from her mother Faiq Jehan, she is constantly in touch with her royal roots. Shahnoor’s inspiration is her grandmother late Muzaffar Unissa Begum.
Shahnoor is proud that she has managed to inherit her grandmother’s cooking techniques which has apparent hints of early Mukalla (erstwhile Yemen) cuisine to it and date back to her times at the old home Shah Manzil now known as Rajbhavan, then belonging to the late Shahzore Jung, her great grand father. Along with this Shahnoor has also picked up some unique lessons from her mother-in-law Shaheda Begum’s kitchen. While she is proud of her royal maternal lineage, this daughter of a humble IAS officer- Shaukat Ali Khan, can never forget her deep roots in the City of Pearls.
KHASSA’s menu is by no means ordinary, with exclusive and popular dishes such as Kuzi, Rann Ghosht, Kairi ka Dopayaza and the famous Fish Salad. It also includes Haleem, her mother-in-law’s secret recipe. Most of Shahnoor’s signature items are indeed a recreation of 100-year old recipes. After a scrumptious main course, the menu serves up equally delectable sweet offerings such as Badam ka Khund, Sheer Khorma and Qubani ka Meetha that are surely a must try.
The chef’s penchant for quality and unfailing attention to details like accurate measurements, time of preparation and the procedure and vessels used bring out the perfect aroma and taste. This has also helped KHASSA gain international reputation, with a regular clientele from the food lovers across UAE and Asia. As a brand, Shahnoor wants Khassa to continue serving hardcore Hyderabadi food- a perfect blend of refined skills and secret ingredients, something that has been misrepresented time and again in the commercial food business.