Umarah Naushad Ali: Mughlai cuisine continues to thrive

Umarah Naushad Ali started her career as a chef when she was 17. A formally trained pastry chef, she is well-versed in French and Italian desserts, pastries, breads, and some traditional desserts. 

Speaking of her journey, she shared, “I hold certification from London City and Guilds and have trained under Chef Rakhi Vaswani, a renowned celebrity chef. While I haven’t extensively traveled to other cities, I have visited Lucknow and Madhya Pradesh. Both places offered similar cuisines, with Lucknow famous for Tunday Ke kabab and more. Despite being open to cooking various dishes, I personally refrain from consuming mutton, so I didn’t sample that particular delicacy there.”

“Surprisingly, what captivated me most in Lucknow was the foam butter available during the winter. Vendors would carry baskets on their heads, offering this delicacy that felt like biting into a cloud—an unforgettable taste that lingers in my memory.”

“I started my career in cooking a few years ago. I just started cooking from the age of 17 but not as a profession, unfortunately, her grandfather was not there to see it. She said, “I’m confident he would have taken pride in my expertise in Mughlai cuisine, especially in dishes like galouti kebab and Shirmal, considering his own fondness for such delicacies.”

Umarah also stressed that the food industry in India and Dubai is still growing, and emphasised that Mughlai cuisine rules every other cuisine around the world. She said, “Reflecting on the food business in Dubai and India, I believe it’s one of the most resilient industries globally, with a growing trend of people being open to experimental cuisines from around the world.”

“While Turkish, Japanese, and sushi cuisines have gained popularity, I believe Mughlai cuisine continues to thrive, both in India and Dubai, and even internationally. Traditional Indian street food, like chaats, remains highly sought after. Looking ahead, I aspire to create fusion dishes that combine Indian traditional cuisine with innovative international flavors, especially in desserts and other culinary creations,” she added.

She also pointed out that cloud kitchens are doing amazingly well these days, no matter which country you are in. “I feel the food business is the best business to get into, whether you’re in India, Dubai, or anywhere in the world, thanks to our online platforms, like Swiggy and Zomato. There are other platforms as well, and you just need to have a cloud kitchen and put it up there. And it does well,” she said. 

“I have noticed there are many options, and still people keep ordering, especially people who are not living with their family. That is their go-to. So that’s why I feel it’s picking up even more. And people are, I think, ordering on a daily basis, in fact. And I think even if it’s like a sandwich place, for that matter, it is doing well online.”

Lifestyle Desk
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