Zubaida’s full name is Zubaida Tariq, popularly known as Zubaida Apa. Zubaida’s father is from Badayoo, her mother is from Zilabadi. Zubaida tariq was born in 1945 at Hyderabad Dakan, after the 3 years of separation of Pakistan She migrated to Pakistan in Karachi, PIB Colony. She lived up with her 6 sisters and 4 brothers, In 1951 she lost her grand father there after she lost her father in 1953. After the death of father 3 of her sister’s took all the responsibilities of running the house .
Zubaida got married to her first cousin. His name is Tariq Hussain. She met him in 1954. He came to stay over at his auntie’s (dad’s sister’s) house. Tariq’s mother used to like Zubaida a lot. She expressed her feelings about making Zubaida her daughter-in-law. Then in 1966, they got married. When the marriage was decided, Zubaida lived on Jamshed Road. When she got married she didn’t know how to cook a single thing. She didn’t even know how to cook plain rice. She got married at the age of 21.
“I’ll tell you a story. At first, She cooked curry. She didn’t even know that it is cooked with yogurt in it. She mixed pea flour (besan) with water and it just won’t get thick enough. She didn’t have the courage to ask someone,” says Zubaida.
Her husband was in the “Lever Brothers.” Over the time, she learned how to cook by herself. Then whenever they invited someone over to dinner, Zubaida was the one who cooked all the food for them. When she cooked food for her husband’s lunch, she cooked food for about 7 people, because his friends liked the food cooked by zubaida. Tariq’s friend encouraged her a lot. She didn’t have confidence in her, because she didn’t have any sort of degree. When all these people encouraged her then she realized I Have Taste In My Hands. In the 45 years of married life she might engage only 6 catering services at various gathering and parties, otherwise she love to cook the food by herself.
“I’ll tell you another story. It was her nephew’s valima ceremony in Sheraton Hotel. They arranged a Hi-Teat party. Zubaida and her sister’s didn’t like it. All 5 of our sisters cooked food for everyone. We convert the whole Hi-Teat party in dinner by ourselves. There were about 1200 people in that party. The food was so delicious, that the people that were there still remember it,” she said.
She started her career in the age of 50. When most people retire, she started gaining fame and she also succeeded. In 1996, Tariq retired. “When he worked in the “Lever Brothers,” I never went to my husband’s office. But the day he got retired, I got appointed in his office; in the Dalda Advisory. He came home with the retirement and I left to go to his office,” she said.
When she started her job, she had no helper. She used to take care of all the work by herself. Then they started the telephone service. After that, they started the Dalda Advisory, in which Rahat, Shabana Hafeez, Tahira Qureshi and a guy Imam joined Zubaida.
Zubaida didn’t appoint any professional trainer, so people started criticizing her. She did 90 programs, and a book that was with her own masala variation, for example; Palau, Nihari, Bihari Kabab, Daal Masala, Sabzi, Tandoori.
Actually, the Tandoori recipe they had was for about 26½ hours. Zubaida made it from 26½ to ½ hour. That was a big achievement for Zubaida. She worked there for 1 ½ years. She placed 5 Daal Masalay into 1 packet. Because for just 1 Daal Masala, no one is going to spend Rs. 27, because 1 packet of Daal Masala contains only 1 cup of the Masala. Then Zubaida made the Daal Masala, so that it can be used in more than one type of Daal. Zubaida worked on ARY for 1½ years, and then she did 120 programs with Sajid Hussain, 120 morning programs with Nadia, and about 450 shows with Kiran. Then Zubaida came on FM 107 with a show called “Aik Mukammal Ghar” which was first hosted by Azra Manzoor. In the meantime, she did 200 shows of another program called “Kitchen Magic.” And then she did another show on GEO by the name of “Aaj Ke Bhao.” “I think that in my career, beauty of the hands means more than the beauty of the face, but the people today take care of their face more than keeping their hands clean. For example; long nails, hair untied, sleeves are so big that they are going inside the cooking pan (Karahi),” says Zubaida.
Her daughter is the principle of a school. She has two sons; 1 is 20-years-old and the 2nd is 13-years old. Her son-in-law works in the Standard Chartered Bank. Her son has done MBA and he is also an artist. He paints beautifully. He has worked in the DHL for many years. He is also an interior designer. These days he is working in a cooking show on Zaiqa by the name of “Khate Peete” with Mishi Khan. Cooking is one of his hobbies. His wife’s name is Saba. After 10 years, Allah has granted Zubaida with 2 grandsons.
“I can never forget the day I lost my father, because I lost him when I was very young,” she says. “Jaisay hi hosh sambhala, apne baap ko kho diya.” When her father died, it was the time of Maghrib. Right then, her sister said a “shair.”
“Kano mein tham gayi thi aisay Azan-e-Maghrib,
2 waqt mill rahe thay ek saath choot raha tha.”
There’s an Island in Bangkok by the name of “Phuket.” A really big show is held there. When Zubaida went there, the people left the show and came to her to get an autograph. That was a very big feeling for her.
When she gets furious, she scolds people no matter who it is. She even scolds her servant, but when she cools down she even goes and says sorry to that servant. She likes to work with broad minded people in a clean environment. She loves to cook all sorts of food. “No one ever criticized me directly, but in-directly a lot of people do criticize me. But I don’t mind, because Allah watches everything and he is the one that does justice,” says Zubaida.
Zubaida’s mother wasn’t educated, but she knew 36 Deewan-e-Hafiz, Meer and Ghalib by heart. She used to water 300 flower pots daily. She died when she was 86-years-old. But she never even asked anyone for a glass of water in her whole life.
The country Zubaida liked the best was India. “If she ever gets a chance to go on another trip, she would like to go to India, because the people in India were extremely pleasant and nice. I’ll tell you a memorable moment from India. The people in Tariq’s company took us to the Taj Hotel. A waitress came and gave me a menu, but I didn’t understand, she came to me twice but I couldn’t say anything. When she came to me the third time, she asked my name and told everyone that I was the most “Well Dressed Lady” in the whole hotel. This was a very memorable moment for me,” says Zubaida.
Zubaida’s Favorite Foods: Daal, Keema with Rice, and Chutni Papadi.
Zubaida’s Most Memorable Moment: “The day I became a mother, I felt like the beauty of the whole world was right in front of my eyes,” says Zubaida.
Zubaida’s Trips: She went to London 2 times, India 3 times, Dubai 2 times, and Egypt 2 times.
Zubaida’s Weaknesses: She believes people really fast, and she is nice to everyone.
Zubaida’s Favorite Color: Off-White and Black.
She can make any kind of food by just tasting it once either a Pakistani ,Continental,Chinese or any kind of dish , she just tastes it and has an ability to present it with more taste and deliciosity , as far as our traditional food is concerned if we go down to memory lines/history we can see neat and tidy shining dishes & clean dastarkhuwan ,delicious fragrance curry & biryani ,yakni ,pulao are spread over like famous personalities. Beauty is not only linked with tasty food but also with the table manners and traditional & culturism.