Nawab’s Kitchen Food

Khaja Moinuddin's no-frills cooking on ‘Nawab’s Kitchen’ helps feed orphans

If you are able to look away from Khaja Moinuddin’s ear-to-ear grin, you will notice a 40 kilogram-capacity degcha or a handi that is either resting over a bed of embers or bubbling with food in the heat of a wood fire. His kitchen is always outdoors; Moinuddin is either cooking in the open under the sky or, during the summer months, under the shade of a tree. His smile remains intact, no matter where.

Moinuddin’s cooking is on a big scale, similar to his boundless smile. And if you are one of those who gets sucked into the web of cooking demo video feeds, then you are sure to have come across his.

If Moinuddin’s name doesn’t strike a bell, the YouTube channel Nawab’s Kitchen sure will. Popular as one of the viral content creators from Hyderabad, the chef is almost always cooking to be able to feed 40 people. The cooked food is distributed in orphanages and their staff, as well as among people who stop by and wait patiently to watch him cook.

“I always cook extra and never come back with leftovers. Once we are done cooking, everyone in and around the area where we cook is free to join us to eat. Initially we would pack the cooked food in boxes and distribute it, then we thought we would feel even better if we are able to serve the people directly,” says Moinuddin.

And who is the ‘we’ he is referring to? Moinuddin clarifies he might be the face of Nawab’s Kitchen, but there are two others who work equally hard to put every video on YouTube. “My colleagues-turned-friends Srinath Reddy and Bhagat Reddy are with me in this. We conceptualised Nawab’s Kitchen (NK) together,” smiles Moinuddin.

Moinuddin has over 10 years of working experience in regional TV channels as a producer. His friends and partners Srinath and Bhagat who prefer to work behind the scenes are experienced at working in the video editing department. Having known each other for a good number of years, the three decided to quit their jobs and start a YouTube channel that will engage, educate and be on a neutral topic like food. “There are very few people who don’t pause while scrolling, to watch a video on how a certain dish is being cooked. Especially if it is an dish Indian, and been shot to show the richness of rustic regional cuisine,” adds Moinuddin.

NK’s no-frill videos and a relaxed explanation of the ingredients and cooking process, wins him fans on his YouTube channel. His recipes are easy and simple to follow. “However, we choose a venue to cook that is close to some orphanage so that we can share the food with them. When we set out to put together NK we wanted to do social service through what we were gaining,” adds Moinuddin.

 

None of the three friends are trained chefs, they function with the knowledge and experience that comes with observing their families cook. Moinuddin adds, “My nani was an excellent cook, when I was in Tenali with her while doing my graduation, I learnt her style of cooking.”

For dishes like pizza and cakes, Moinuddin equips himself by learning online. “When we reach the gates of the orphanages, the smile and love with which the children greets us, banishes the day’s stress. The love and appreciation they show towards us makes us wonder where the children get their wisdom from,” says Moinuddin. NK regularly visits about 15 orphanages to share their food.

What is Nawab Kitchen’s signature dish? “My mutton biryani has a lot of fans,” he laughs.


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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 12:37:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/nawabs-kitchen-khaja-moinuddin-youtube-food-channel/article59861816.ece