Shehar Bano Rizvi’s Homage to Heritage Takes Readers By Storm ‘Virsa - A Culinary Journey From Agra To Karachi’ Represents Home Away From Home
In the interview, Rizvi stated that she initially started a blog in order to rediscover herself as an individual. After taking a long break from her professional career, she chose to get in touch with her creative side through photography and writing. As the blog gained significant amounts of popularity due to its recipe section, she started compiling her work into a book. Moreover, after her father’s passing, she and her siblings decided to pay tribute to honour his memory. Reflecting on these events, Rizvi realized that she wanted to do something phenomenal for her other primary caregiver as well, hence her coobook is dedicated to her mother and features all of her mothers ‘no-fail’ recipes. “The book is my way of keeping both of my parents legacy alive. - it’s more than a book for me, it’s a piece of my heart.” stated Rizvi.
When asked about her favourite recipes/dishes in the book, Rizvi revealed that although she didn’t like vegetables as a child, she grew quite fond of chukander tamater. She also noted that you can’t find Karachi nehari anywhere but Karachi so she made sure to include it in the cookbook. She then added that she has always preferred her mom’s haleem over anyone else’s so she included that in the book as well.
Reflecting on the success of the book and the positive response it has received Rizvi stated, “It seems like everyone feels at home with the recipes and everyone can connect to it. The feedback I’m getting from people is that it reminds them of home. People who are not currently living in Pakistan have said ‘oh this feels like home’ and ‘this Virsa feels like our Virsa’. So, I think people are emotionally connecting to it and that’s why it’s been so well received, because of that emotional connection of what people feel with the book with a different variation to each family.”
‘Virsa - A Culinary Journey From Agra To Karachi’ is available in hardcover on the Virsa website www.VirsaCookBook.com. It is also available in a digital Kindle format on Amazon.com. The hardcover book is now available in Pakistan,Australia, Qatar, USA, Canada, UK and UAE.