Journalist turned self-taught cook is using his YouTube channel to feed over 1,000 orphans across Hyderabad

Khwaja Moinuddin, a former journalist, is a YouTube sensation and his channel Nawab’s Kitchen has over a million subscribers. The YouTube star uses the platform to feed over 1,000 children every month from orphanages across Hyderabad.

Khwaja Moinuddin’s YouTube channel Nawab’s Kitchen is quite literally about living life king-size. The 39-year-old former journalist’s YouTube channel is chock full of cooking videos that plate up humongous portions of everyone’s favourites - from Domino’s style pizza to biryani liberally peppered with juicy chunks of chicken.

But what makes this Hyderabad resident and YouTube star stand out among the many homestyle chefs on the platform is his social cause.

Every month, Khwaja feeds over a thousand children at various orphanages across the city.

Khwaja Moinuddin preparing noodles for the orphan kids in one of his videos (Image: The News Minute)

With only a cookbook to guide him, he whips up delicious dishes for these children, from black forest cake to pav bhaji, tandoori chicken and even tuna steak. His videos, which garner over a million views each, show Khwaja cooking the food from scratch and plating it up for the kids.

The idea to start a YouTube channel popped up during a conversation with friends around five years ago. Speaking to The News Minute, Khwaja said,

“I was then working with a Telugu news channel and used to regularly do programmes like 'Day with an MLA' or some other politician. Though the job helped me pay my bills, it never satisfied the urge to do something I loved.”

In late-2018, Khwaja, along with friends Srinath and Bhagat, decided to start a YouTube channel featuring outdoor cooking videos. While Khwaja would cook, the other two would film and do the editing.

Khwaja along with his two friends who are helping him with editing and shooting the videos (Image: The News Minute)

Initially, they didn’t intend the channel to be anything beyond cooking explainer videos. However, after 10 episodes, the trio planned to engage with multiple orphanages in and around the city and prepare meals for them.

Speaking to The Citizen, Khwaja said,

”Once, I was travelling by train when I was small, and I saw kids my age trying to collect food out of the garbage bin. That memory has stayed with me for a long time.”

Khwaja now cooks more than two days a week ensuring that he feeds as many as children possible via his YouTube channel.

And the reach of his videos was clearly seen when the Gujarat police reached out to him stating that a kid who went missing from their jurisdiction eight years ago was spotted in his videos on Facebook.

Khwaja told The News Minute,

“I put them in touch with the orphanage. I still remember the day when the kid, who had mental health issues, ran to his father and hugged him tightly, despite having been away from home for eight long years!”

But running a philanthropic YouTube channel comes with its own set of challenges. The trio ran out of funds after five videos and could not continue.

Khwaja during feeding the orphanage children (Image: The News Minute)

Khwaja then took to YouTube to make a plea for donations to help them continue to feed the orphanages and keep the channel running. That night, he received 18 emails from people who came forward to help, and since then Nawab’s Kitchen has been running on sponsorships.

Speaking about his next move, Khwaja said,

“My next recipe is a Maggi noodle dish. The last time I visited an orphanage with food, the children there said they haven’t tasted noodles yet. Though I have made noodles before on the show (he prepared around 100 noodle cakes), I will do it once again because this time the kids have asked for it.”

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)

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