`Daily Khen Chen’: Meet homemaker turned chef who started tiffin service after her husband lost job

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Srinagar: Jameela Himayoon’s delectable cuisine captures hearts and taste buds faster than the steam that rises from a hot pot.

A 42-year-old resident of Sanatnagar, she has become a culinary sensation in Srinagar with homemade tiffins `Daily Khen Chen’.

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`Daily Khen Chen’: Meet homemaker turned chef who started tiffin service after her husband lost job 3

 “I’ve always been passionate about cooking. It is something I enjoy doing. Everyone, including family, friends, and relatives, used to like the meals I prepared for them. They often told me that I should start my own cooking business because the food I prepared was so delicious. I wanted to start my venture but wasn’t serious about it,” she said.

Jameela’s husband Himayoon Rashid used to work in Saudi Arabia, but after the death of her father-in-law, he had to return to Kashmir. Since her husband was jobless, she finally decided to turn her passion into a profession, aiming to support her husband.

“After my father-in-law died, my husband had to return to the valley. As he was now jobless, I filled in her shoes and used my cooking skills to make our ends meet,” she said.

Fast-forward to October 2023, Jameela started her homemade tiffin service and named it Daily Khen Chen which means food that people can have every day.  With her husband managing deliveries, she focused on crafting delicious dishes. The venture took off swiftly, fueled by positive feedback from satisfied customers.

“My customers’ response was overwhelming, which inspired me to do more. I used to create delicious meals, and my husband would deliver them to the customers. With the love and support of each other, I thrived in my business,” she said.

 Her menu boasts a tantalizing array of dishes that fulfill gastronomical urges. “My menu contains a range of foods.  I also prepare customized food on order. This winter, I placed harrisa on my menu, and the consumers enjoyed it. I received many orders for it, which I did not expect,” she said.

Whether it’s a busy office goer looking for a quick lunch or a family seeking a delicious dinner without the hassle of cooking, her tiffins have become a go-to solution for many.  The demand for her tiffins has been overwhelming. She received almost 20 orders per day. 

Recognizing the needs of her customers, she has recently announced plans to introduce Iftar hampers during Ramadan, providing working women with convenient and nutritious options for breaking their fasts.

“This Ramadan, I am interested in building Iftar packages for my customers that will include sweets, snacks, fruits, and a variety of other items. There are working ladies who work all day and are too tired to make dinner during Ramadan. So to make things easy for them, this thought clicked in my mind,” she said.

What sets her tiffins apart is not just the food, but the personal touch. Each tiffin is carefully packed with nutritious ingredients and a dash of nostalgia, reminiscent of the homemade meals many of us grew up with. Daily Khen Chen offers free delivery for homemade tiffin at Rs 140 per tiffin.

 “I make the food for my customers keeping in mind that I am making it for my children. There is no compromise on quality, and no preservatives are added to my meals. I prefer to create fresh food as I do for my children,” she said.

 Despite starting with humble beginnings, Jameela’s dedication has led to remarkable success. In February 2024, she and she started the `Daily Khen Chen’ fast food outlet in Rawalpora, marking a significant milestone in her journey.

 “From having no source of income to owning our own outlet, it proves that nothing is impossible if you are truly passionate,” she said. 

She ensures that the same principles of quality and care are maintained at the outlet, just as they are in her homemade tiffins.

“If I am getting love and support from my customers it’s because they know I never compromise on quality. That is what I will suggest to everyone who wants to start a business,” she said.