While the whole county is consciously trying to be more vocal for local, that is, representing smaller businesses and entrepreneurs to a greater degree than before, we would like to bring your attention to Shahnoor Jehan, who serves Hyderabad in every bite she carefully cooks for her customers.
Initially just a lady with magic in her hands, she is now, with a little encouragement from her children, one of the favourites when it comes to Hyderabadi cuisine. Inspired by her late grandmother Muzaffar Unissa Begum, Shahnoor’s culinary skills have significant influence of the cuisines of Yemen. Known to her friends as Noora, she serves food only with the intention of making people feel content and loved. Talking about her venture, Khassa, Shahnoor’s son told The Hindu how she would always look forward to her kids bringing their friends home and gradually friendly requests turned into catering orders. People describe her food as a hidden treasure of authentic Hyderabadi cuisine.
“In an effort to bring to life many traditional recipes from her ancestral kitchen, Shahnoor insists that rather than reinventing, her food cooked in authentic Hyderabadi style keeps the original flavours intact. So relies on the use of nuts, fresh spices and fresh ingredients for her cooking.
Khassa’s menu boasts of dishes like kuzi, shikampur, rann ghosht and haleem made with her mother-in-law’s secret recipe. Most of Shahnoor’s signature items are a recreation of 100-year old recipes. Her menu also includes kairi ka dopayaza, fish salad; there is badam ka khund, sheer khorma and qubani ka meetha.”
Discussing Khassa, Shahnoor tells The Hindu, “People who love my food describe it as a hidden treasure of authentic Hyderabadi cuisine. Dum ki rann, chicken warmi, chicken roast are not so often discussed. Hyderabadi cuisine has become synonymous with biryani. My venture aims to serve diners looking for authentic, wholesome food. Khassa, in old Hyderabadi, means ‘cooked food’ and I want to carry forward the legacy of my royal ancestry in Persia,” she says.
image courtsey: Khassa, by Shahnoor Jehan