Before coming to Selwyn, Razi Syed was born and bred a city boy, with no rural connection at all.

Razi came to New Zealand with his wife in 2007 from India, to gain a qualification in professional accounting.

He ended up staying and applying for residency, and now has two kids and has lived in New Zealand for 15 years.

After living in three different cities in India; Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, he says it’s a blessing to now have settled in the country town of Lincoln.

Before moving to live in Selwyn three years ago, Razi and his wife lived in Christchurch city but would frequently visit Lincoln’s Coffee Culture, their favourite study spot.

Razi said he enjoyed the drive out to the country passing all the farms and looking out at the horizon line, which is a rare site in India with all the high-rise buildings. The long drive also helped put the kids to sleep.

Nowadays Coffee Culture Lincoln is only a walk or scooter away from Razi’s home and he says the whole family loves living in Lincoln.

“When we are back in Lincoln, it just feels like we are home. We have a much bigger space than what we used to have in the city.”

The family has made connections to the Selwyn community through their daughter and son’s involvement in tennis and cricket teams. Razi also coaches Lincoln Cricket Club’s junior team.

Razi also became popular at his son’s school camp a few years ago with one of his favourite Indian recipes.

“I was a parent helper at my son’s school’s camp, and they have this thing called parent giving, where parents have to teach something to the kids.”

The kids were divided into different groups, some parents decided to teach them cricket skills, like batting or bowling, but Razi had something different up his sleeve.

“I decided to teach them how to make a stuffed cheese or sugary naan, because it’s really quick and easy,” he laughs.

“The kids loved it, and they came back after the camp and asked me for the recipe. The school said in the last 30 years, this was the first time any parent taught the kids to make food.”

Razi told the kids that they can use both cheese and sugar in the stuffing if they wanted.

Cheese also doesn’t have to be the only filling. Razi suggests experimenting with potatoes or vegetables, as long as the ingredients are cooked a little bit and aren’t too runny.

Naan is a versatile dish, which can be eaten with anything. You can have it with curries, spread some jam on it or simply have it plain.

Listen to Razi Syed's podcast

Naan recipe

naan bread


  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • water or milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cheese
  • teaspoon of sugar

Take a cup of plain flour and add the water or milk. Make this into a dough.

Rest it for 15-20 minutes before cutting into small balls that can fit in your palm.

Take one ball and roll it to make it flat, and so it fits in your hand.

Pour a tablespoon or two of cheese or a teaspoon of sugar, and then fold it, so the stuffing is inside.

Then fold the circumference of it and gently twist the ends.

Put it on a clean bench or rolling mat and gently roll it until it’s double in size.

Heat up a pan and cook both sides.