VIRSA: A culinary journey from Agra to Karachi

Shehar Bano Rizvi, International Culinary Artist launches her first cook book

Inspired by her cultural background. Rizvi named the book ‘Virsa’ which means ‘Heritage’ in Urdu. The book is an ode to the author’s family heritage, comprised of over a hundred traditional eastern dishes which are easy for any beginner to make.
‘Virsa – A Culinary Journey From Agra to Karachi’, is a cookbook that has simple and authentic Pakistani family recipes which have been passed down from generation to generation. It is specifically designed for beginners but also features more complex recipes for experienced cooks. It basically caters to everyone irrespective of their level of culinary skills. The cook book was initially conceptualized as a tribute to the author’s mother but transformed into an homage to both of her parents, expanding the family legacy. It includes guides in both languages, English and Urdu, with categories such as, desi cooking styles guide, homemade spice blends guide as well as a visual lentil guide for beginners who are stepping in the kitchen for the first time.
 “I wanted to feature recipes that are simple and easy to make, even for people who have no experience of cooking. I also wanted to keep a variety of recipes from the everyday daal sabzi type simple food to fancier dawat food. The book has an array of recipes with some simple chutneys and raitas, lentils, vegetarian meals, meat dishes, rice, breads and desserts. I wanted to compile a book that would help beginners like me and would give them everything they need in one book,” Rizvi stated.

When asked what readers should expect from the book, the author voiced, “The secret sauce to a successful launch in the world of cooking for a beginner like me was the recipe book I compiled, full of Ammi’s ancestral family recipes. Sixteen years later, I still cannot cook without that book and would be completely lost without it. So here I am, finally compiling and publishing Ammi’s NO-FAIL recipes for the foodies world over.”
Born in Karachi, Shehar Bano Rizvi is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Software Engineer by profession. A Pakistani expat living in Qatar since 2004, her maternal instincts took over her career aspirations leading her to give up her high-profile banking career to be a hands-on mother. Rizvi is also a speaker, a writer, a blogger and a professional photographer. She is a multitasking mother who shares her passions through her personal blog. Rizvi began her culinary journey with minimal cooking experience but has now developed a successful blog with a recipe section that has gained tremendous popularity due to its detailed and easy to follow recipes.
The book will be available in the hardcover format on the Virsa website. It is also available in a digital Kindle format on The hardcover book will be available in Pakistan, Qatar, USA, Canada, and UAE.

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