new millennium has dawned since a bored housewife took to
the kitchen, not to cook for her own family, but to try something
different. Instead of pondering over what perils this life
brings, this housewife started a revolution…a revolution
to free the hands (and stomachs) of our countrymen by giving
them more delectable options. That lady is Zahra Hasina Parveen
and the revolution was a home-made catering service. Till
today, she is busy with her dishes, satisfying the gastronomic
needs of hundreds.
a loving wife and mother of two, manages to find time in the
kitchen to cater to the needs of a number of families with
a variety of mouth-watering recipes. There are many parents
who don't have enough time in the morning to cook breakfast
and prepare tiffin for their children. "The parents have
to do so many things at one go that there is almost never
enough time to prepare something for the child to take to
school", says Parveen. That is where Zahra comes in.
Her frozen items are a hit because you can simply defrost
the items a little and put them into some oil. And, as for
the rest, you let nature take its course and watch the items
turn a crispy golden shade and voila…a snack fit for
a…well…a very hungry person maybe, because it
will surely hit the spot.
started with one kitchen, but that quickly doubled as more
and more people needed her attention and service. She began
her journey by serving in schools to tend to the little tender
hearts of the students. Prices were cheap and the items very
tasty. Having children of her own, Zahra always made sure
what she sends up to the schools were items which her own
children liked. The catchy names that befit her tantalising
dishes gradually invaded the dining rooms of other customers,
and slowly but surely, her catering expanded to large organisations.
of mouth is my marketing campaign, because no one can compliment
my dishes until and unless that person has been exposed to
my cooking," continues Parveen. "My best customers
are probably my friends, because friends are always honest
about your cooking, no matter what others say."
on Zahra's fast food list are delectable chicken sandwich,
chicken and beef burgers, chicken patties, chicken fries and
different type of cakes. Her frozen food collection comprises
mostly of a variety of keema samosas, shingaras, rolls and
cutlets. On the more substantial side we have rice, khichuri,
tehari, biryani, polao to go along with a range of fish, chicken,
beef, vegetable and mutton items. There are also salad dishes
for those who have become attached to our 'feathery' and 'furry'
the advent of globalisation and adventurous nature of our
taste buds, Chinese food has been welcomed into our kitchens
with open arms. Zahra has taken this into consideration and
has come up with numerous lunch combos to make the most important
meal of the day -- lunch -- a memorable one. Her Chinese lunch
items consist of an artillery of chowmein with mouth-watering
sweet and sour prawn; chicken fried rice with sizzling beef
chilly, not too hot but spicy enough to make you beg for more;
chowmein with saucy sweet and sour meatballs that
simply melts in your mouth; fried rice with chicken and onions
and much more. "I have some customers who try out different
combo different days, giving a pleasant and tasty change to
their daily diet."
Zahra usually takes about a day to prepare for special meals,
she is particular about one thing: the quality. "With
the Chinese items, I generally can cook for fifty people.
If I cook for more than that number, say a hundred, I will
need more time because I do not want to disappoint my food
lovers." One can easily reach her at 0171665850 or 9142892
to order and take advantage of the special home delivery service,
one of Zahra's special attractions, which has made her kitchens
welcoming heavens for food addicts. One can also reach her
at House 79, Road 9/A, Dhanmondi. It's about time that people
take some time out to enjoy the little pleasures of life,
especially by appeasing the whims and growls of the stomach.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004