Meet Okhla-based Mughlai Queen who years ago wowed judges at food reality
Zebi Zuber has never been to a cooking school, yet she impressed the judges at the a reality show MasterChef India on Star Plus years ago with her signature dishes Benarsi Kemami Seviain, Barfi Gulkand, Chicken Brinjal Surprise and Stir-fry Noodles.
Then for weeks she was judges’ favourite, including Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar. Despite failing to reach the final of the most coveted MasterChef India title, she succeeded in making a mark of herself as a successful chef.
Born on April 27, 1982 in Varanasi, she did her early schooling from Varanasi and Faizabad and got married to Kashif Siddique in 2007. In an exclusive interview with the OT from her Abul Fazal Enclave flat, she recounts her days on the show. Her trader husband Kashif was also on her side at the time of interview.
Years have passed since you appeared in the reality cooking show, what are you doing now?
I have been running my YouTube channels with presence on other social media platforms for years. She has 1.21K subscribers on her Khana Pakana by Zebi Zubair channel.
From where did you learn the art of making finger-licking dishes?
I learned cooking from my mother and other family members. As a 17-year-old girl I was praised for cooking delicious foods. Many of the guests who visited our house in Luckhnow used to be impressed by my delicacies. I used to cook food for 100 people at one time. It is a passion but can also be taught.
What is your specialty?
I am good at cooking. Over a period of time I developed good knowledge of Indian cuisine by interacting with my elderly. At the show I was called Mughlai Queen. I am good at Awadhi Khana.
Are you uncomfortable with some dishes?
Italian food is my weakness. It is only because we come from a traditional family where going to hotels is not a good thing. So I never went outside to have these foods. So before trying my hands on the show I had no idea about it. I have never eaten international cuisines.
How was your experience at the show?
It was great. I got chance to learn a lot as I was working with professional chefs. Some 11 top chefs were there from all over India. I will never forget the experience. I was satisfied with my performance as I worked hard to reach the top.