Farhana Sahibzada is a Chef and Cooking Instructor full of incredible passion for the food she cooks. Her dishes ooze with the scrumptious authenticity of her homeland, Pakistan. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Arabic influences, the region offers a vibrant tapestry of exquisite tastes.
Born in Karachi and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Chef Farhana has lived in Los Angeles for the past thirty years. She teaches classes at some of L.A.’s most prestigious cooking schools, turning age-old South Asian cuisine into quick, healthy and satisfying meals for every modern American household.
There is an educational component to Farhana’s work. Not only do her recipes demystify a cuisine from the Indian subcontinent, her natural charm and easy-going nature make her the perfect conduit to teach traditions from a part of the world Westerners often know little about.
Farhana’s goal is to remove the intimidation and encourage people to cook South Asian food at home. She takes regular culinary trips back to Pakistan to work with food industry professionals in Punjab, fine tuning treasured recipes so home cooks can master tastes that have driven South Asian culture for thousands of years.
The key difference between the cuisines of Pakistan and India is that Pakistani dishes are most meat centric. Chicken is king but you also see lamb/mutton, beef and goat.
Her book ‘Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian and Pakistani Cooking’ (Trafford Publishing) won the 2014 ‘Beverly Hills Book Award’ as the Best International cookbook.
Looking for a welcoming L.A. area restaurant that serves authentic Pakistani cuisine? Chef Farhana suggests Al-Watan Halal Tandoori Restaurant on Inglewood Avenue in Hawthorne. It’s a long-running owner/chef (Chef Mumtaz) operated establishment. Be forewarned – they can be very busy during peak dining periods…
We’ll meet Chef Farhana.