Homemade goodness


Zahra Abdalla, founder of Zahra’s Kitchen, loves the spirit of being a home cook, which ultimately inspired her to create her business


Nisthula Nagarajan

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Published: Thu 29 Jul 2021, 3:31 PM

About me: My journey with food has allowed me to fulfil so many incredible experiences and meet many talented and inspirational people. One of my favourite highlights is hosting Season 4 of Maggi Diaries, which aired on MBC1. I travelled to five countries and met 20 incredible women of change, making an incredible difference in their communities. This year, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Caesar’s Palace and host a pop-up restaurant during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

In general, I have always considered myself a feeder and I love preparing a special spread for my family. I enjoy sharing new flavours and recipes with my husband and children. It is a special joy to watch my kids’ palettes develop and grow.

Zahra’s Kitchen focuses on sharing traditional and modern Middle Eastern-inspired recipes. Our ‘Made with Love’ frozen food range is a selection of our favourite nibbles that are ready to cook, perfect for school lunches and for those last-minute gatherings.

Favourite dish to cook: Saffron chicken and freekeh is a true representation of my identity. I am Iranian and Sudanese so this recipe represents a marriage of flavours and a celebration of cultures.

Favourite time of the year to cook: The Eid holidays because I have so many wonderful childhood memories and I look forward to sharing those with my family.

My role models: I am in awe of individuals like Ina Garten and Martha Stewart — I love how they made food and the process of cooking so accessible. They have inspired a generation to enter the kitchen and develop their skills. I love that they were home cooks and expanded their reach in so many different mediums.

The future: Currently, I am very focused on expanding my range of frozen food, and working on projects that I can’t share yet. I aim to have Zahra’s Kitchen available and accessible to every household.

Advice to foodpreneurs: Don’t be afraid to enter the market as we all started as seeds before sprouting into fully grown trees. Enjoy the journey, allow yourself to fail as it is the best learning ground to grow and build a stronger self.

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