Oota the ordinary

Updated: Jun 26, 2019, 08:05 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

A Mumbai-bred chef brings together her Mangalorean roots and modern sensibilities for a half-authentic-half-experimental pop-up in SoBo

Oota the ordinary
Pomfret masala fry with kappa ruti

Hybrid: A thing made by combining two different elements. To explain the meaning further, Google will give you the example of a mule, i.e. "the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse," but the dish called Chia Shetty's ghee roast pav — which by combining the Bombay pav and Mangalorean ghee roast, amalgamates chef Shriya Shetty's roots with her natural Bombay-ness — is perhaps a more delicious specimen.

A month-long pop that's starting today — curated by Shetty in collaboration with Colaba's Bombay Vintage — will serve such mixed-breed food along with traditional staples. So, there's something called a temple taco that uses an urad-dal base and kokum rice and black beans sukkah as the filling, and there's also pomfret masala fry served with traditional kappa ruti.

Ghee roast pav
Ghee roast pav

Whether you're an explorer likely to be drawn to the jackfruit payasam ice cream or a cadet of the official authenticity police who is more inclined towards the traditional mensakaay oota, this range promises to have something for everyone.

"I wanted to showcase my cuisine, but also serve approachable food. So, I have selected a mix of traditional dishes along with a few experimental ones," Shetty shares. An online poster child for Mangalorean food, Shetty has a long and interesting culinary journey, which began at the age of 17 by interning at restaurants owned by acquaintances.

Temple taco
Temple taco

Then, in 2014, she trained at the now-shut Ellipsis for a year, until she migrated to Bangkok to work under acclaimed chef Gaggan Anand for six months. And that's where the seed of loving her own food germinated, growing manifolds since. In 2016, Shetty, who was born and brought up in Mumbai, made the great shift to Mangalore pursuing a job that didn't quite work out.

"I was approached to handle a North Indian cuisine restaurant, so my partner and I moved, but I think it was a bad decision. But in a way, it also was a good one because it helped me research the cuisine more deeply," Shetty, who shuttles between the two cities, recalls.

Shriya Shetty
Shriya Shetty

So, all in all, it's a spread that will offer a peek into Mangalorean cuisine, but will also be representative of Shetty's colourful culinary history.

At Bombay Vintage, opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba.
Till July 31, 12 pm to 1 am
Call 22880019

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