South Asian drag queen Rahezur “Rae” Rahman (@missjalebibebe) isn’t afraid to get a little messy with his chosen family. Centered by a group that helps him feel loved, supported, and never judged, the content creator is all about throwing out your manners and being your most authentic self — no matter how nasty. He likes his Drag Family Brunch extra spicy in both the courses (biryani, samosas, and English tea) and the kiki. In his own words, “Eat up, bitch!”
To me, “chosen family” means…
Picking the right people (blood or not) to always be by your side; to support through the ups and downs; and to love you always! To never judge your decisions but help you grow as a person.
I'm proud of my chosen family for..
Always being there for me when I need it. They are my emotional support system. Who needs therapy when you have chosen family, right?
When I'm with my chosen family, it feels...
Like I am whole. I don’t feel lonely, afraid, or worried about my future. I just feel happy in that present time.
What brunch beverage are you planning to enjoy in your Full of Pride mug?
I am having good old British tea, only because I want to dip my favourite Asian biscuits into it.
What's your signature thing you'd bring to brunch?
Always has to be my Bangladeshi food or some spice, girl. Every one of my meals needs a bit of a kick to it!
What's a phrase you'd like to coin to mark the beginning of family brunch?
Eat up, bitch!
What's your favourite part of home cooking?
I definitely feel empowered that I have created a dish — it makes me feel like I am not completely useless. I love to eat with my chosen family because I don’t need to worry about being polite or having manners. Fuck that! They get to see the real nasty me. ;)
The best part of Drag Family Brunch is...
Knowing the people you have surrounded yourself with love you and support you no matter what. They’re the people I will always keep close to my heart and will never grow apart from.
What are some of your secrets of tips for setting the right vibe as a host?
I think you’ve just got to be the real bitchy you. Don’t hold back. They love you for you! Don’t ever change for anybody! And maybe get them to have some alcoholic drinks or some good medicine (if you know what I mean…).
What do you serve at Drag Family Brunch?
- Biryani, fried with onions and a biryani mix (because I am lazy)
- Fried vegetable samosas (peas, potatoes, carrots, sweet corn, cumin seeds, green chillies, mustard seeds, coriander, herbs, spices, salt, sugar, and citric acid)
- Tea using PG Tea bags, semi-skimmed milk and one sugar
- Assortment of biscuits from an Asian supermarket
- A spicy lamb fatayer with salad, mint, and hot sauces.
How does your culture influence your home cooking and the way you host?
Being Asian, we always have to welcome our guests with food — especially the good Asian food we keep stored away for guests. So for the brunch, I had to do it Desi style. I loved my Desi food growing up and can never imagine not eating it. I love spice… I can’t do no plain old boring English food. No ma’am.
Is there a story or memory behind the food you made today?
It’s kind of a sad story, but I got kicked out of my house a while ago so I had to learn to cook for myself. I have always known how to cook — my mother taught me here and there. But that was long forgotten since I had no need to cook at home. Being independent and missing my Bengali food, I forced myself to learn and I am very proud of how much I can cook now all by myself.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to recreate your recipe?
My biggest tip for Bengali food is that we use the same base for all the curries. For me, it’s turmeric powder, chili powder, ground coriander and cumin (only with meat curries). Once you’ve got the base locked down, then whatever main ingredients you add is a breeze.