In the event you go to Maryam Ghaznavi’s snug dwelling in Mount Nice, don’t mess with any of the fountain pens.
“I’m obsessive about fountain pens,” she admits, including there are containers of fountain pens and scissors in nearly each room of the home as a result of SOMEONE (trace — husband or two youngsters or a pleasant ghost) retains shifting them. With a jar of pens in each room, she figures she ought to be capable of discover one when she wants it.
Ink shade: Black. However different colours are OK, too. Something is healthier than the ever-present ballpoint pens discovered throughout the US. This infatuation with fountain pens comes from her time at school in Saudi Arabia.
“After we grew up, we had to make use of a fountain pen,” she recalled. “Ball level pens had been by no means allowed. And we at all times needed to write in cursive.”
A Pakistani-born daughter of a global banker, she and different college students had been required to jot down solely with fountain pens from center faculty on. When Ghaznavi returned to her birthplace, Lahore, Pakistan, for faculty, she continued to make use of fountain pens as she studied for a bachelor’s diploma in psychology.
In the present day, she and her husband, Raheel Gauba, are co-owners of Malika, which they describe as a canteen-style eatery of shiny, pungently spiced Pakistani road meals. In only a few months, they’ll reopen Ma’am Saab, which gained native popularity of its inventive use of spices whereas it was housed in Workshop on higher King Road. The brand new restaurant, which is able to function southern Asian meals in a extra formal setting, will open within the first quarter of 2022 within the house previously occupied by Jestine’s Kitchen on the nook of Assembly and Wentworth streets.
Loves sharing her delicacies
As we talked on a latest Saturday, Ghaznavi’s ardour for sharing the tastes and tradition of her Pakistani heritage wafted like fragrance throughout the couple’s Mount Nice dwelling with wealthy brown flooring and a impartial furnishings palette.
“I get pleasure from cooking my delicacies essentially the most,” she mentioned. “It’s stuffed with taste. I like the best way I can layer and play with the very fundamentals of the spices and provides every of the recipes a persona. There are dimensions with this delicacies.”
She mentioned she strives to cook dinner satisfying meals that’s additionally cravable — which means folks need to come again for extra after experiencing a spice profile they may not have encountered.
“When a buyer walks within the door and they’re courageous sufficient to strive a brand new delicacies — it must fulfill them.”
Instance: The Chapli Kabab Plate ($18) is described as “floor beef patties with conventional spices. A truck cease favourite. Served with basmati rice, raita and naan.”
When it arrived, it seemed like two char-grilled hamburgers on rice. However tucking into it stuffed the mouth with sudden heat and tang. Sure, warmth from peppers punctuated the dish, however there additionally had been refined layers of onion, garlic, cilantro and one thing else that highlighted how floor beef may very well be a platform for far more than the standard American hamburger.
To raised perceive the Indian and Pakistani meals of southern Asia, it’s essential to get past geographic boundaries. The nations as soon as had been one below British rule, however had been divided in 1947 into two nations. Hinduism is dominant in India which has 966 million Hindus, or about 80 p.c of the nation, and 172 million Muslims, or 14 p.c of the nation. In the meantime, Pakistan has about 200 million Muslims, who make up 96 p.c of the nation’s inhabitants. Hindus account for about 2 p.c of Pakistanis.
The delicacies in each cultures relies on comparable use of spices, greens, rice and breads. However Hindus don’t eat beef and plenty of are vegetarian-only. Muslims eat beef, however not pork. The variations in proteins create completely different recipes that advanced from an identical tomato-onion base.
Gauba summarized: “If Indian meals and Center Jap meals acquired collectively and had a child, it will find yourself being Pakistani meals.”
Ghaznavi famous the best way she flavors her Pakistani dishes is by utilizing spices to focus on, not overpower, proteins like beef or rooster. “The primary ingredient actually shines.” There’s additionally usually much less of a use of curry than in conventional Indian dishes.
In Charleston since 2006
Ghaznavi met her husband in 1999 quickly after her household emigrated to Toronto, Canada.
“It was an Eid (vacation) celebration and he or she got here in along with her household and I fell in love along with her smile,” mentioned Gauba, a member of the band enjoying to greater than 300 folks within the banquet corridor.
Ghaznavi acquired extra schooling to have the ability to do accounting work. By 2002, she and Gauba had been engaged and acquired married two years later with events in Toronto and Pakistan. (At one, they bear in mind round 700 folks attending!)
Quickly they moved to Minneapolis the place Gauba was a key tech worker in a start-up firm. In 2006, Blackbaud recruited Gauba. The couple visited on one dreary, sizzling weekend with out a lot time to go searching.
“I needed to discover it (Charleston) on the map,” Ghaznavi mentioned.
At first, Charleston posed difficulties for the couple. There wasn’t any household right here. There wasn’t even a lot of a Pakistani neighborhood. And Charleston wasn’t the “massive metropolis” that they encountered in Ghaznavi’s Lahore (11 million), Gauba’s native Karachi (15 million) and even Toronto (3 million).
However they endured. The chance was nice. And it wasn’t chilly, like in Minneapolis and Toronto. Quickly got here two youngsters and Ghaznavi then acquired work at an area Montessori faculty.
By 2019, with encouragement from Michael Shemtov (Butcher & Bee, The Day by day) she began cooking for others, first as a pop-up after which at Workshop. Then got here the pandemic, which precipitated challenges. In Could 2021, Workshop closed and the couple shifted to open the canteen-style eatery at Mount Nice Towne Middle by August.
Lately, it’s busy. They stay up for revealing the tastes of the meals they grew up with to folks within the Lowcountry and past — they get weekend guests from Georgia and North Carolina who come simply to eat Ghaznavi’s meals.
She says she additionally needs to present again to the neighborhood right here.
“I would love extra alternatives to do some neighborhood work,” she mentioned. “My heroes are individuals who sometimes do loads of good work for the neighborhood. My tackle neighborhood is (doing) extra for the lives of underprivileged children, underrepresented girls and kids struggling to search out constructive issues to do.”