Discover the diverse vegetarian side to Vietnamese cuisine at a pop-up by a Dadar-based home chef
Com Tam with Rau Vien
Three days before gourmands gather for a feast straight from Vietnam at her home this Sunday afternoon, Aparna Surte, a food stylist and founder of Peckish (a home-based food consultancy venture), recalls the challenges she faced scooping out an all-vegetarian menu from the meat and seafood-heavy cuisine that the country is known for. "I once sent my vegan guests some vegetarian Vietnamese dishes, and they returned them; they were sceptical that the country could actually have vegetarian dishes. It took some good convincing," chuckles Surte, referring to a previous workshop.
Her love for food, and diverse influences on her taste buds from having travelled across the US for her consultancy job, inspired her to go beyond a passionate hobby of recreating delicacies from around the world. "During my college years in Dallas, Texas, I fell in love with Pho [Vietnamese noodle soup]. It's still one my favourites," she says. When she moved back to Mumbai in 2015, Surte set up Peckish, which specialises in South East Asian food and explores cuisines from across the globe through food walks, cooking workshops and pop-up lunches.
At Sunday's pop-up, Surte will host a six-course meal. The elaborate menu will feature dishes like Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee), Nem Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Paneer), Vegetarian Pho Soup with rice noodles, mushrooms and bok choy, Com Tam with Rau Vien (Vegetable 'Meatballs' Rice Bowl), and Che Chuoi.
(Vietnamese Plantain with Coconut Cream). The dessert will feature tapioca. "A traditional Vietnamese meal is usually a single course affair, but I want my guests to have a complete experience. The table will have a host of condiments and specialty sauces like Nuoc Cham and Hoisin, so that they can tweak the dishes as per their preference," explains Surte.
On: August 20, 1 pm
At: Shivaji Park, Dadar