Home chef Shahnoor Jehan says Iftari is as much about food as it is about togetherness
Home chef Shahnoor Jehan, who runs the bespoke catering services ‘KHASSA by Shahnoor Jehan’ has a reservoir of iftari recipes that's been cooked traditionally in her family for several generations now! Hence, we thought who else but her - the daughter of the late Indian Administrative Service officer Shaukat Ali Khan and Late Faiq Jehan (who is of royal descent) - can give us a lowdown on what's cooking for iftar! She has inherited cooking techniques from grandmother Muzaffar Unissa Begum’s and that of Faiq Jehan, from the ancestral kitchen. When we reached out to her for traditional recipes for the recipes, Shahnoor was at quick to highlight that iftari is as much about food as it is about togetherness.
She reminisces that in her family, the evening meal during the Holy Month of Ramadan is also about spending time with family. “We always had a full house. My memories particularly comprise all family members helping each other for the iftari. It’s that time of the year which brings us together, considering throughout the year we all are busy with work or commitments so this particular time of the year, brings the whole family together for meals and prayers.”
However, she admits that this time is going to be different thanks to the lockdown. “Neither will relatives or friends be visiting us this year to share our Iftar nor will we be able to visit anyone for the prayers. It has been more like a tradition to send iftari to our close relatives and friends so this year because of the lockdown things won’t be the same, sending any Iftari to their houses is also out of question.” But her hearth won’t be devoid of delicacies like Haleem and the other favourites of the family. “The recipe of the Haleem is what I have inherited from my mother-in-law. Also, another dish that remains close to my heart is Dahi ke Samose which was my mother’s speciality. She recounts that it was one of the most frequently made dish during Ramazan in her house. However, she has shared the recipe of her other iftar favourite, Khari Seviyaan, with the readers. So try this at home!
For the readers, she has a special recipe of Khari Seviyaan:
Seviyaan ( the brown variety): 250 gm
Onion, finely chopped: 1
Tomatoes, finely chopped: 1 or 2
Oil: 2-3 tablespoons
Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste: 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
A few coriander leaves
Green chillies: 3
Add chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and salt, and fry little.
Add seviyaan and sprinkle some water, then leave it on slow flame with the lid for at least three minutes.
Add the coriander and green chillies.
Stir for a minute.
Serve it hot!