Have you ever watched the movie Today's Special? It's a story about food, life, culture and it's packed with foodie scenes. This month's host is Deb at Kahakai Kitchen - see her announcement post HERE
I liked the movie, but my experience with Indian cuisine was not as pleasant. Details later.... Let's hash out some of the movie's details first.
Samir was class act sous chef at a French restaurant and expected to get a huge promotion for his efforts and skill in the kitchen. When he was told by his boss he didn’t have passion, that yes…he was a great sous chef but…Samir lacked the fire connecting the skills, heart and mind. Losing out on a chef’s position (A job he thought he had in the bag), Samir announces he is going to Paris. This is, of course, a fat lie.
Enter the chance meeting with Akbar. Samir hails a cab and Akbar is driving. They talk about cooking and creativity. Akbar was my favorite character in this movie. Later in the movie they hook up and Akbar patiently teaches Samir about cooking and how to find passion in the entire process; The prep, the cooking, the final product.
Samir rediscovers his heritage and his passion for life in the kitchen, listening to stories and cooking Indian dishes. Akbar's recipes put life back into the Tandoori Palace and business improves dramatically. Soon, it’s Samir who is doing the cooking, creating and along the way, he finds happiness. There is also a side love story going on with Carrie, the blonde he met while working at the French restaurant.
This is a total foodie movie…not just the scenes of food, or talking about food (and there is a lot of that) but the talk about why you prepare something a particular way and enjoying the very act of creating a dish to share.
The act of cooking isn’t work, not in this movie.
So, being the baby I am about spicy foods, yet wanting to prepare a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for this month’s edition of Food n Flix…..and further not wanting to screw up perfectly good ingredients by preparing something I may not like (and have to toss)...I thought I would go to a local Indian restaurant such as Samir ran. Give back to the economy and get an authentic Indian dish.
We started with the Coconut Milk Soup. Very good, very creamy and yet light. This portion of the meal was the only one we enjoyed. Wait...the naan was excellent!
This hearty looking plate contained a noodle based vegetable toss, basmati rice and some incredible naan.
Two bites in and my mouth is tingling. Ok....I continue to sample. A few more bites and the ridges of my tongue are vibrating with heat. It was as if I had ingested a big spoonful of fire ants. There was a burning sensation that was simultaneously painful and numbing. I drained a water pitcher...and it had ice in it. Anyone who knows me even remotely knows I do not like ice water...just give me plain old water, no ice, every. single. time. For Doug it wasn't the heat or spice - he didn't care for the taste of the food at all.
Noooo....I left there not knowing if my stomach was thundering with hunger or trying to minimize the damage I just heaped into it. Oh. My. So, kudos to you ladies cooking from Madhur Jaffrey for these past six months. Am I a baby when it comes to Indian/spicy food? Maybe...but I was reared south of Philly where I ingested the cultural melting pot food items from German, Italian and Irish cuisines. The Indian food is clearly not for me, or my man. He didn't care for it either but again, it wasn't the spice issue for him.
BUT - we both liked the movie very much and it was a cultural journey we certainly enjoyed. No offense to any Indian food lovers......it's just my opinion :-)
Next month I am hosting Food ‘n Flix’s movie How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. Wonder how much food is that one? Stay tuned for my announcement post next month. Hope you will join in.
I am sharing this with Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking Series
Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.