Tuesday 25 June 2013

Nawabi Zayaka with Sadia Durrani

“Man’s work is from ‘sun to sun’, a woman’s work is never done” – this old age saying aptly describes the life of a woman, whether she is working or a homemaker. Some might not agree with me here and argue that nowadays with changing times 'our other halves' too pitch in the household affairs and that the load is distributed equally. We can argue till doomsday on this point but I still feel that at the end of the day, inspite of all the extra help, the responsibility of running and managing the household affairs ultimately falls on the shoulders of the lady of the house.
So much so, that many women, inspite of being extremely well qualified, have chosen to forego having a career and opted to stay at home giving top priority to their homes and children, selflessly looking after their each and every needs making life comfortable for everyone around her.
But having your hands full does not necessarily need to stop you from chasing your dreams and pursuing your passion. Most women have gone ahead and are fulfilling their dreams by starting small endeavors which are started and operated from the comforts and privacy of their homes, in the process making sure that their talent does not get wasted. I hold a special respect for such women who are trying hard to make a difference in their lives.
Our bloggers table met up at the house of Sadia Durrani, who too chose not to  waste her talent and use her skills in running a home catering business while at the same time devoting time to her family. We were invited by her to sample a Mughlai feast that she usually prepares for her take aways. Being a die hard fan of Mughlai food, me and my husband don't leave a single opportunity to dine at Karim's, which thankfully has a branch in sector-14 Gurgaon. So here too, I was curious to see what  mughlai delights Sadia would come up with.
She had laid out a complete feast for us. Her table was elegantly set with food served in beautiful silverware utensils complementing the food served in it. With only non-vegetarian dishes served on the table it was pure heaven for us and we just couldn't wait to dig in.

I did not want to mix up the flavours so I started with the Nihari and the Shammi kebabs- two of my absolute favorites. Even though the size of the kebabs was unusually big, they were delicious. Made with minced meat which was ground really fine, they had a lovely filling of nuts in the center and a covering of sesame seed which added a nice crusty flavor. 
Shahjehani Shammi kebabs

Next I tackled the Nihari. Having relished it quite a few times at Karim's this was one dish I was looking forward to taste. Here too, Sadia had prepared it quite well. The meat was tender, well cooked and just falling off the bone and the spices added were just right so as not to overpower the flavor of the mutton.  Nihari is a dish where the mutton is slow cooked  for long hours with the stock to get the full flavors of the gravy till right inside the bone and this dish did full justice to it. Even though I still had a lot of other dishes to taste, I couldn't help but go for a second helping.
Having relished my kebabs and Nihari, I turned my attention towards the other dishes. Chicken cooked in a delicate gravy of yogurt and cashew paste , I loved the rich taste of the Awadhi Murgh.  Alongwith the Tandoori roti, the chicken tasted divine.
 Awadhi Murgh

Gost do pyaaza
Lal Maas
After tasting both the Gost do Pyaaza and the Lal maas, I found in both the dishes, the meat to be tender and well cooked. Gost do pyaaza was delicious and had a good flavor of onions and whole spices. Lal maas too tasted nice but was quite spicy for me and did nothing much for my tastebuds (maybe because I am not  too fond of chillies in my food). It was fiery and had most of us reaching for a glass of water. Maybe it would be perfect for those who are fond of spicy food.
Achari Murg
Next I tried the Achari Murg.  I had already heard Ruchira praising it and I found the praise was well deserved. well spiced and tangy, the chicken was well cooked with the flavors of the pickling spices shining through.  If you are one of those who are fond of pickles, this is the dish to go for.
Mutton Korma
The Mutton korma paled in front of the other dishes. Here too, though the mutton was cooked well, the spiciness in the dish was again too overpowering to really enjoy its flavors.

Murg Dum Biryani

I ended my meal with a serving of biryani which looked really nice but failed to deliver. Maybe the chicken needed more marination or the biryani wasn't put on 'dum' long enough, maybe it could have done with some more ghee or saffron, I can't put my finger on it but something certainly was missing from it. It was bland with very little flavors from the chicken.

The dessert made up for everything else. Creamy and lightly sweetened, the kheer was the highlight of the day. Garnished with chopped almonds, pistas and a hint of saffron it was well prepared. Served in small clay pots it imparted a lovely earthen flavor to the kheer which I loved. It took me right back to my childhood, when while travelling by train we were served tea in earthen pots which used to change the entire taste of the tea. Not to forget the fun we used to have while throwing them on the train tracks afterwards.
But on the whole, I really enjoyed the meal. I think it was an honest effort by Sadia considering the fact that she is a home cook and has not undertaken any professional training. It must have taken her quite an effort to present us with such an elaborate meal and that too on a day that was so hot and humid. She indeed is a true example of "dreams start at your own doorstep".

If you too want to order a sumptuous Mughlai meal from Sadia, she can be contacted on her facebook page Nawabi Zayaka or can be reached at 08588960966.

Enjoying this Mughlai feast with me were Parul, Sid, Sangeeta and Ruchira.


  1. That looks yumazing!! Lucky you for having dug into all that yummylicious food.

    1. Thanks. It was indeed a very elaborate meal.

  2. I have read ruchira's and sangeeta's posts on the lunch..and found them to be much as same as yours...

    well, I am vegetarian so i guess it was better that i skipped this one :)

    sushmita :)

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