Watch: Who introduced Okhlaiites to shawarma?
Shawarma is a popular delicacy. And a few years ago Indians living in Middle East were only aware of this meat food of the region. In Okhla, too eighteen years ago there was no eatery selling shawarma which originally was made of lamb.
However, as its popularity grew, the delicacy was made of thin cuts of lamb, chicken, turkey and others.
Though shawarma is one of the world’s most popular street foods, in Okhla it was introduced by MZ Beg, said food lovers.
It was in 2000 when after returning from working in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Bake, he took a plunge into eatery business with stiff resistance from his family members.
Since the opening of the eatery, over years it became popular among youngsters. The food habit of people visiting New Friends’ Community Centre also changed and now many no-vegetable shops have come up in the locality.
Though over the years many eateries opened in Jamia Nagar selling Lebanese dish shawarma, they failed to meet the popularity of Al-Bake which continues to be the numero uno in its field, said a resident, who loves savouring shawarma.
Located at New Friends’ Colony Community Center, the outlet has made a name of itself over years with food buffs coming from across the national Capital to relish the delicacy.
Talking about his journey, MZ Beg told the OT: “It was very difficult to convince them. While in Saudi Arab I had bought this shop in NFC. After returning I was just thinking to open a shawarma shop. My family members didn’t like the idea. There was a PCO shop then a garment shop being run by my wife. But anyhow after a lot of difficulties I was able to convince them and I opened an eatery shop. Over years, it picked up. Then even a sale of Rs 100 used to make me happy.”
Besides running business, the family is also involved in charity work, said sources.