Hidden F&B: Maryam Ghaznavi

The owner of Pakistani cuisine Ma'am Saab is our guest this month on Charleston Grit's Hidden F&B podcast.
Headshot of Ma'am Saab owner Maryam Ghazvani.


By Helen Mitternight


Coca-Cola. I’m addicted. It has to be Mexican Coke with real sugar, no-high-fructose.


Ma’am Saab means “lady boss,” so it’s appropriate that Maryam Ghaznavi, the force behind the namesake pop-up and soon-to-be-restaurant, will occupy 251 Meeting Street, the spot that once housed the renowned and female-owned Jestine’s Kitchen. She’s bringing Pakistani food to the land of shrimp and grits, and says to think of Indian food, but with more beef and less sauce.


Maryam’s take


Favorite kitchen tool or gadget

I am completely obsessed with my mandoline. I love the challenge of not using the guard. It makes you slow down.


In my refrigerator (3 things)

Cilantro, limes, onions.


In my pantry (3 things)

Rice, flour and chickpeas.


Comfort food     

That’s a hard one, because I’m an emotional eater. I would say beef Nihari — and Charleston is going to find out what that tastes like!


Favorite smell

The smell of my mom’s cooking. 


Favorite drink

Coca-Cola. I’m addicted. It has to be Mexican Coke with real sugar, no high-fructose.


Most underrated ingredient

A lot of people are not familiar with fenugreek.


Best advice a mentor gave you

It was my husband, and everything he says is so helpful. Now that I am over 40, I appreciate his wisdom. I struggle with change more than he does and he pushes me to get out of my comfort zone.


This is just a portion of what Ghaznavi has to say. For the full serving, feast your ears onEpisode 36 of our Hidden F&B podcast here now.   


Editor’s note: Nihari is a stew from the Indian subcontinent consisting of slow-cooked meat, mainly shank meat of beef or lamb and mutton, goat meat and chicken, along with bone marrow. The dish is served hot with bread (Naan) or rice as a main course and for breakfast. Source:Wikipedia.Ma'am Saabis Charleston's first and only authentic Pakistani restaurant specializing in Pakistani and Indian street food. Source: website. Image provided by Helen Mitternight.