Asalaamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,


About Me

I am Mona, a homesick Hyderabadi foodie muslimah, a home cook, mother, writer and blogger, currently enjoying life in Toronto, attempting to make an insight into the method of cooking in the Hyderabadi households, a modern take on authentic recipes that remind me of my hometown.

As a young girl, I became obsessed with collecting recipes, cooking and photography. Food and everything relating to it has always pleased me and cooking good food has for ever so been therapeutic to me. It was when I landed in the field of Nutrition, or actually after I had to leave the comforts of my parents house and had a kitchen to run on my own, when I really started to develop an interest in cooking and collecting recipes. And that is when I decided to document my recipes in an effort to avoid constant calls back home to my Ammi for recipes. I hope to one day publish my own cookbook.

I love beautiful fabrics and I also have a passion for sewing. I love to use what little free time I have to create things. I make and sell one of a kind accessories for mothers and their baby on my etsy shop: ‘Omee’s Boutique‘.

About the Blog

I started this blog on a whim in the summer of 2007. This is my journal and creative outlet, a platform to showcase and document all that I am cooking and the stories that go with them. Why the name Zaiqa you ask. ‘Zaiqa’ is a word from the poetic Urdu language ~ my mother tongue, which means ‘Taste’.

I have fond memories of growing up eating traditional Hyderabadi food that is famous for two iconic dishes –Biryani and Haleem. The princely city of Hyderabad, which is the capital of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, was once ruled by the powerful and wealthy Nizams. The royal Hyderabadi cuisine is an amalgamation of the Moghul cuisine and the fiery spicy cuisine of Andhra Pradesh. I have seen that there are very few cookbooks and resources that write about Hyderabadi cuisine and showcase the recipes. The rare and outstanding nizami cuisine of Hyderabad seems to be fading away.

Through my blog, I intend to inspire all Hyderabadis to share their tried and tested recipes with the world. I am no expert in Hyderabadi cuisine and its methods, rather a home cook trying to document my recipes. My blog is my obsession and is very much filled with nostalgia, all my recipes and stories, a labor of love, with abundant amounts of patience and effort, a journal of my recipes, both traditional and the trial-and-error ones.

I also rant, and blog about my other interests and passions and updates on my handmade goods that I am selling on my etsy shop

Thank you for visiting. I am available for freelance work as a food writer. If you have any questions you can contact me here.

I hope you enjoy your visit and I would love any and all feedback.

Happy feasting!


All writing, photography and illustration on Zaiqa is copyright to Mona (© 2007-2012). If you want to use any of the photographs, please contact me first.