Story of the first woman to start a frozen food venture in Kashmir. Get pure and home-made snacks.

dr. rukhsar syed shah

Come what may, food, water, and medicines are the major requirements of people. People buy food and drinking water from the market. Those who drink water from their wells in the house, eat food from their own farms can be counted on fingers these days. In a scenario, where the dependence on the packaged food products is high, how many of the sellers and retailers are ensuring pure and safe food reaches our plate? Leave behind the concept of adulteration, the food packaged and sold through the retail shops or online, is it made worth consuming? In such a sceptical situation, Kashmir's Dr. Rukhsar Syed Shah has started a frozen food venture, and the way she has been maintaining it has won her prominent award too. Let's know more about Dr. Rukhsar, the first woman to start a frozen food venture in Kashmir. 

Food Lover: 

Dr. Rukhsar who was born and brought up in Kashmir is a PhD in Food technology. She was married five years ago and is a mother of two. She calls herself an avid foodie who is always curious to experiment with all kinds of cuisines. She was also extremely inquisitive to know more about the food including its recipes, method of its production, preservation, and other aspects related to it. She chose to study what she loved and her career choice also remained the same. "I am happy that I am one of the lucky ones who could live their passion through their career,” she said. However, post marriage; due to time constraints she wasn’t able to pursue her passion. 

Re-embracing Passion: 

According to Rukhsaar, her family has always been the best critics of her cooking. They were her strongest support. It is her family that encouraged her to take part in the state-level culinary competition. She stood second in the competition and that victory reminded her and showed to the rest of the others what she is adept at. Going forward, she served her homemade snacks at an exhibition held at SKICC. "Everyone in the exhibition irrespective of their age groups loved and praised my food.” she shared. All these incidents became the propellers for her to start her own food venture and thus the seeds to "Khalis" were sown. 

A Thoughtful Venture: 

Dr. Rukhsar did not start her food venture just to sell her recipes to make money. She had deeply thought about the kind of food being made available in the market in the name of snacks. As a food technologist herself, she very well knows about the harmful effects of preservatives and additives in the foods we consume on a daily basis. She thus started her venture with an aim to provide safe food, safe snacking options for kids. "KHALIS is a result of how people and especially my own family responded to my cooking. The appreciation that I got led me into turning my small kitchen experiments into a full-fledged frozen food venture,” she stated. As a mother of two, Rukhsaralways thought of the kind of snacks she could give her children. "I am sure all the mothers would agree with me, not just mothers but everyone who wants to eat healthy, pure, and safe food.", she says. Her passion for food coupled with vast technical knowledge and motherly instincts led her to experiment and cook a varied range of snacks providing them under the name of KHALIS. "Although a varied number of non-vegetarian snacks are available in the market, but with KHALIS, I guarantee to serve not just food that tastes good but is safe, pure, and 100% halal.", She affirms. 

Khalis - Trusted Option: 

Dr. Rukhsar states that her main objective is to serve tasty, healthy, safe, and pure food through her brand. KHALIS currently offers a wide range of products like Kalari Cheese Samosa, Chicken Keema Samosa, Tangy and Crispy Chicken Popcorn, juicy chicken strips etc. Currently, most of her orders come in through social media and is receiving great response from the consumers. 

Path with Roadblocks: 

Though you take up a career out of passion, it still demands a lot of endurance and perseverance from you. No road is easy to cross. Similarly, Dr. Rukhsar who started her venture in 2019, had to pause it with the abrogation of article 370 and a long-lasting internet gag. She started all over again without losing hope. "As a Kashmiri, this strength to go on in bare minimum situations is what keeps us all going.", she shared. Another challenge she faced was with respect to procuring pure, halal chicken. "I assumed halal chicken to be an easily available commodity but I had no idea that this simple job would be the most challenging part of my journey. I was shocked to see what was being sold in the market in the name of halal boneless chicken.", she recollected her initial rough days. After a lot of struggle to procure hygienically and 100 percent halal cut chicken, she came across a few local vendors in Kashmir. "Although I had to pay much more but I am glad I am providing guaranteed halal snacks and not procuring it from outside the state which comes with a lot of doubt when it comes to halal cut and hygiene standards. I am happy that I have been able to face these challenges very well until now and look forward to producing quality products only, no matter what challenges come my way,” she says. Thus after crossing all the hurdles, here she is where she is standing today, with a trusted food venture. 

Awards Received For The Trusted Food: 

Dr. Rukhsar was presented with an award by the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Ministry of Food Processing, Tamil Nadu under the entrepreneur category. She was selected amongst 42 women who had applied for the award. "I had to send a documentary about my work and related things. After the due process, I got selected with seven other ladies. Things like these give a boost to a person to move forward. It gave me encouragement to continue with my good work and I'll continue to put more efforts into it." said Rukhsaar. 

Expansion plans: 

Dr. Rukhsar is trying to expand her business by tying up with departmental stores in Kashmir to retail her products. "Though my business is all done from home, now we will be supplying our snacks to different stores so that people get hands-on pure and homemade snacks.", she concludes. 



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Dr Rukhsar Syed Shahfrozen food ventureprominent awardFood technologyculinary competitionSKICCKhalisIIFPTKalari Cheese SamosaChicken Keema Samosa