Jammu & Kashmir is a diverse, beautiful, rich in culture, a city located in the northern parts of India. Its culture is influenced also by Persia and Central Asia. It is a dream getaway filled with colorful structures, unique cultural dances, and most importantly, a passion for flavorful food like none other.
Chef Neeta was born here. As a boy, he had very little but grew up in an environment rich with culture, music, and delicious food. Some of his greatest memories were that of his mother cooking his favorite childhood dish, the spark of his cooking passion, Rogan Josh. A rich Persian dish cooked with lamb or goat and spiced with Kashmir chilies. Pursuing his love of food, Neeta moved to California in 2012 with nothing to his name. He met and began working with Manjinder Singh, owner, and chef of Mantra Indian Cuisine. He decided to take Neeta under his wing and taught him everything he needed to know to run his own restaurant. The two worked side by side every single day until Manjinder Singh sadly passed away in 2015, leaving the entire restaurant to Neeta to run in his absence. Neeta ran the restaurant until he decided to move to Hammond Louisiana in 2018 to help open Punjabi Dhaba, bringing his cooking with him. He instantly fell in love with the Louisiana-rich culture that reminded him so much of home. As head chef, he became passionate about reigniting his lifelong love of food by aspiring to open his own restaurant to be able to freely embrace his cooking with no bounds, inspired by the Louisiana culture. This is why he decided to come to Metairie Louisiana and open Mantra, named in honor of his mentor.