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Sunday, July 03, 2016

Todays special



Food movies to me is particularly appealing since I have a passion for food as well as for cooking .
There have been a lot of Indian films based on food ,the legendary Bawarchi of Rajesh Khanna ,later  Amithabs cheeni kum,, the lunch box ,etc.
In Holly wood there have been plenty ,A matter of tastes ,Ratotulle ,No reservations ,Chef ,
A hundred foot journey,Fast food nation ,Just deserts ,etc 

I happened to chance upon Today's special in Netflix and went through it in one stretch as it was very absorbing .
The reason was the philosophy of the film was rhyming with my views on Desi cooking !

Yes its all about an Indian restaurant in downtown New York one of the hundreds one sees in Queens in the little India run by suit clad rheumy Indians eulogizing on  their curry .

Tandoori palace is one such restaurant run by an obese Hakim ( Harish patel ) ,
having lost one of his sons on whom he had great hopes of his becoming  a doctor he was depressed his son Samir (Aaasif mandvi who incidentally also wrote the screen play of the film directed well by David Kaplan )  is only a sous chef in an upmarket French specialty restaurant ,

Samir  quits one day when passed over for promotion unfairly !
He   plans to go to Paris to apprentice under someone to become a specialist in French cuisine but it wasn't to happen as he finds his dad go into an apoplexy on hearing Samir had lost his job and promptly has a heart attack and becomes bedridden .
His three uncles  play cards there most of the time ,the place is unhygienic , ill organised  with a crude clout of an immigrant with a spittoon as the resident cook 
 when Samir puts his foot down on the spittoon the man walks away leaving Samir with no chef .

Samir  remembers his meeting  a talkative cab driver Akbar once who prides himself as an expert Indian cook who knew  all the secrets of a Nawabi kitchen.
He manages to trace him down .
Thus Akbar brilliantly portrayed by Naseeruddin Shah comes to help out Tandoor palace 
Samir is amused at Akbars way of making the masala  powder ,definitely beyond his trained and professional knowledge as Akbar relies on no recipes but has everything in his mind ,
Akbar pontificates that   cooking rises from  three places ,the head ,the heart and the stomach 
He introduces Samir to the world of cooking with passion !
Madhur Jeffery the world famous cook expert and authour acts as Samirs mother in the film who gets impressed by Akbar and his panache .
The restaurant makes a U turn and crowds start pouring in and after a dust down it looks nice too ,

Samir becomes closer to Carrie his love interest , a fellow chef who comes to work for him to later become his fiancee .

And the day a star reviewer eulogizes on his restaurant he becomes suddenly  famous and there is a big line waiting to get into the restaurant 
His dad and mum who come then are  amazed at the change and Hakim hugs his son and Samir  is very happy at last his dad had appreciated him 
Akbar does the disappearing act as he is a man on the move but gives the masala pan to Samir and giving  him the confidence to go on  alone and succeed and Samir  just does that 
I would recommend this film  to all 

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