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The Queen of Mappila Cuisine: Abida Rasheed

The Malabar region is known for its history and rich and spicy cuisine. The region contributes some delicious additions to Kerala cuisine. Abida Rasheed, the queen of Mappila Cuisine, has popularised the cuisine all over India. Apart from being a celebrity chef, she is a YouTuber and was the owner of the “Saree Sellers”.

Mappila Cuisine

Mappila cuisine is the cuisine of the Malabari Muslim community along the coast of northern Kerala. It is a rare combination of local and exotic ingredients and techniques that produce unique dishes that leave a sense of wanting more in us.

Abitha’s Journey

Abida hails from a Muslim, orthodox family from Kozhikode, Kerala. She graduated in Business Management from Chennai in 1995. Abida and her husband founded Saree Sellers, one of the best shops in Kozhikode.

Saree Sellers

It was her first step into the business world. Their dedication and diversity in selection have led to 32 successful years of SariSellers. They travelled extensively and bought the latest collections, which made the shop famous. As the business grew, they earned a good living and discovered new opportunities. They began the construction of their house. They borrowed money from available sources such as individuals and bank loans to finish the house. Because of this, they had to face confiscation proceedings.

Abida Rasheed, The Queen of Mappila Cuisine

Crisis In Life

Abida had to deal with life’s most difficult challenges. Her husband has been diagnosed with cancer. She was forced to leave the building where she had worked for 32 years as the building owner filed a lawsuit against her and thus, Abida had to fight with a famous landlord. She had three children to look after. Abida was in a miserable condition. The biggest question she faced was how to hold on in life.

At that time, she lost her husband. Being the breadwinner of the family and not having much time, Abida entered into the business after forty days. She had to stay in business. With her customers’ support and strong faith in God, she holds back her business.

New Venture

Abida started a new business and reconstructed it to new heights, the villain, the pandemic, Covid 19 appeared. Her condition turned upside down. As a result, she was again left with no option but to pay higher rent.

Started Business From Her Kitchen

Her rich heritage had bestowed upon her the ability to cook. Abida retouched her skills because she had the time, and it was also her passion. To support herself, Abida started a spice business. She packaged and marketed the spices. A large number of young people aided her in her endeavour. She can’t just sit at home because going to the store has become a habit for her. She opened a coffee shop to engage herself.

A Brand In Her Name

Many youngsters regularly gathered at her shop. They helped her market her pickles and spices in bottles, launching a brand in her name. She sells her products on Flipkart and Amazon and recently launched her website. She initially intended to sell for ten thousand rupees per month, but her company eventually grossed 45 lakhs. Abida began her business in her kitchen.

Abida motivates everyone to be self-sufficient and to do things on their own

The Successful YouTuber

Her daughter’s friend uploaded a video of her cooking to YouTube. She had never heard of such a medium before. Because her online textile business was not profitable, she began making videos for YouTube. Within a year, she received the silver button.

Rare Opportunity To Popularise Malabari Cuisine

Abida got the fantastic opportunity to be Taj’s chef while she was running the textile business. She worked there for about 4 to 5 years, visiting all of its branches and holding food festivals, which helped to popularise Malabari cuisine. Now she is stable with her business and wants to popularise her rich cuisine tradition.

Her Objectives

She motivates everyone to be self-sufficient and to do things on their own. Abida advises mothers to instil confidence in their children by encouraging them to cook. Through her videos, she tries to restore lost values ​​like our traditions, who we are, our food habits, cooking methods and kitchen tools. Abida strives to bridge the generation gap by imparting our values ​​and rich heritage to the new generation through her cooking.

Once described as a rare woman by her friends and relatives, Abida Rasheed lived by her choices at a time when women were not allowed to trade. She preferred business to homemaking and established the famous Saree Sellers in Kozhikode. Even in difficult times, she looked to a sustainable side to keep going. Corona was a threat all over the world. However, that did not affect her confidence. Abida made a second coming with the help of a few like-minded people. It was nothing new to her. Her spices and pickles are well received and she earns a good income. Acquainted with new techniques, Abida is using them to cultivate rich and ancient Mappila cuisine.

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