Family’s originally lost cookbook now raises funds for water pumps across Africa, India and Pakistan


Portsmouth, 27/03/24 – A cookbook with a purpose and long history hopes it has the recipe for success.

The Road From Karachi: Indian and Pakistani Cookery Made Easy, is co-authored by Nadia Arab and her mother, Khalida. The road to creating the cookbook, however, was not without its challenges.

The book has technically been over thirty years in the making. The earliest version, Indian Cookery Made Easy, was published by Nadia’s parents, Khalida and Riaz Arab, who moved to the UK from India and Pakistan following a visit on their Honeymoon.

Khalida and Riaz Arab 1980s (1).jpg

They ran a successful Indian cookery school in Portsmouth, leading to the creation of their cookbook, which was sold to students as well as in WH Smith.

When they moved away from the area and closed the school, their only edition of the cookbook was lost. They spent years searching far and wide for a replacement but were never able to recover one. 

The book archiving their family history, recipes and years of work, was gone.

That is until 30 years later, when their daughter’s conversation with a colleague revealed that they happened to own a copy.

This led Nadia to eventually republish the book in 2021, selling it for £19.87, a nod to the year it was first released. The new title also highlights Karachi in Pakistan, where Nadia’s family are originally from. The R is for Riaz Nadia’s father and K is for Khalida, Nadia’s mother, another nod to the book’s special history. 

Khalida is very proud of Nadia’s efforts to allow the family’s legacy to live on. She said: “My dream came true, finding my cookbook from years ago and seeing it in real life fills me with so much happiness and now seeing the book do so many meaningful projects is beautiful to see.”

The Road From Karachi runs as a not-for-profit, aiming to supply 100 clean water pumps to those in need by June 2024 with the funds the book makes.

Nadia hopes to install more than 1000 as the book brings in more revenue. 

The pumps cost £150 each and 60 have been installed so far through the proceeds of book sales, sponsorships, events and charity cooking sessions.

Nadia works full-time as a college teacher and part-time as a fitness instructor, so it’s taken a lot of work reinventing the cookbook with her mother while managing her day-to-day life.

Four years of further development, including design, recipes, and QR codes for instructional videos, have come together in the modernised version of the cookbook.

Like her parents once did, Nadia now runs cooking courses of her own to teach chefs recipes from the book. This allows them to sell the meals in their restaurant, with a percentage of the profits they make going to the clean water pump project. 

Nadia said: “It was really important to me to make a difference with this book beyond its history. The change it’s making in the future will hopefully be the legacy that it leaves. Our first water pump was purchased in 2021, but the 100 mission started on my birthday, October 26th in 2022 – our aim is to have the 100 installed by June 2024.

“Hopefully we will not only encourage more people to consider different cuisines and styles of cooking and let our family’s legacy live on, but we will also make a big change in communities across the world that need it most.”


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