Home chef Sreya Vittaldev doesn’t like the term supper club, and believes it's overused. However, ironically, it seems to have made its way into her life. It was while organising an office supper club with her entrepreneur friend Shagun Ohri, that they had a eureka moment about starting one. A few months later, the duo had named it, The Satori Supper Club.
Started in July, this new supper club in Bengaluru is reimagining food pairings, celebrating seasonal foods, and bringing new twists to recipes passed down through generations. Vittaldev is the chef while Ohri takes care of the hosting, design and decor.
“I started cooking when I was about eight years old and was in the kitchen all the time. I was completely engrossed by my mother’s cookbooks, drawn to the colours and curious to know what the flavours tasted like,” she recounts. Vittaldev has since indulged in this curiosity, perfecting recipes and creating new ones.
Over the years, she collected many heirloom recipes, formulated her own, and as her experience grew, so did her desire to share it with people, especially recipes cooked with seasonal food. “The concept of cooking with seasonal and regional produce is slowly slipping out of people’s memories. Not many know the joy of waiting for a specific season to taste a vegetable or fruit. This was something we wanted to bring back to the table,” she shares.
This love for hosting and sharing unique recipes was something that connected Viitaldev and Ohri. “We love getting people together to indulge in different foods and flavours. There is so much joy in seeing people taste the food you make with love,” Vittaldev says.
Hosted at Ohri’s house, the first table had about 35 people and in the second one, called Aata Paata Vanta, they laid out a table for eight. The menu for the second gathering was a culinary journey through the landscapes of Andhra, Telangana and Hyderabadi cuisines and an ode to the food that Vittaldev grew up eating and many times, cooking.
The four-course meal started with a drink, moving on to appetisers then mains and finally dessert. In between the meals, the host explained the speciality of the dishes and the flavours that the guests tasted, including some of Vittaldev’s unique concoctions.
For the second gathering, hosted in August, a vegetable that they wanted to highlight was brinjal, which was in season. Their first main, Dum ke Bagare Baigan Salan, featured baby brinjals generously stuffed with a mixture of poppy and sesame seeds, peanuts, and whole spices. It was slow-cooked overnight in a rich tamarind gravy and served with steamed rice. “Brinjal is the king of vegetables in Andhra cuisine, so we wanted it to be the star on the menu,” says Vittaldev.
For meat lovers, there was a delicious variety of appetizers such as Kakinada Chapala Vepudu, wherein Roopchand, an in-season fish, is marinated for 24 hours in Godavari-style masala; then it's fried with curry leaves and garlic oil. Another dish, namedWings PMK, which featured chicken wings coated with a special fermented hot sauce. “At a farm in the city, I came across these chillies which we call pandu mirapakaya kharam in Andhra Pradesh. It’s usually used to make an amazing pickle. But I gave that a twist and turned it into a hot sauce,” Vittaldev shares.
Another highlight of the menu was the abundant use of nuts. For instance, in one of the mains Shahi Mutton Qorma (mutton shoulder curry simmered in a fusion of watermelon seeds, cashews and almonds) was served with bagara rice (tempered rice).
One thing that excites Vittaldev about the menu is the freedom to play and experiment with flavours and combinations and come up with something people might not have tasted before. For instance, in the second gathering, the dessert was Vittaldev’s spin on the much-loved, shahi tudka, a Hyderabadi classic. Traditionally, the recipe involves soaking a fried piece of bread in chashni (sugar syrup). “However, I made this coffee rabdi and soaked the bread in it. I finished it off with customized ice cream from Ulo,” Vittaldev explains. Their interpretations of the cuisine with a twist has got guests curious to try more.
“People were surprised by the flavours and how we presented some traditional recipes. We want to do more such surprises and build a community of people through food,” says Vittaldev.
The next gathering will be in December, which will be announced soon on their Instagram page @thesatorisupperclub.