5 Fun Food Movies in Hindi

20 Feb

Mothers in Hindi movies may dish out copious amounts of halwa and kheer for their beloved betas but it is the men who rule the roost when it comes to playing food-centric roles on celluloid.

A look at “food movies” in Hindi in which the leading man is a chef and the backbone of the plot is food.

1. Bawarchi (1972)

bawarchi Rajesh Khanna is a bawarchi (cook) who works for the bickering Sharma family. His skills in the kitchen are of the magical kind- he chops vegetables with eye-popping speed, stirs two pots at the same time and shares pearls of kitchen wisdom from time to time – such as how to jazz up colas with lemon and masala.

While at it he also brings peace and harmony into his employer’s dysfunctional household.

2. Duplicate (1998)

Food Movie: Duplicate The film has Shah Rukh Khan playing two roles:
(1) the Bad Guy who sneers and snarls and looks menacing;
(2) the Good Guy who dotes on his mother, is gentle and sensitive.

One of the two is an aspiring chef – no prizes for guessing which one.

The aspiring chef applies for an open position at a big hotel. He is given a test – to prepare a meal for a Japanese delegation within fifteen minutes. He sets about the task with great gusto, winning the heart of the restaurant’s banquet manager in the process.

We talk of the merits of multi-tasking but Duplicate takes the concept to a whole new level. While the meal is being readied, the kitchen staff entertain themselves by bursting into song and dance, aesthetically slicing cauliflower and eggplant in mid-air and using bottle gourd as faux-trumpet.

3. Ramji Londonwaley (2005)

Food movies: Ramji Londonwaley “Jaisi bhook dekhe waisa de niwala,
Ramji ke pass hain sabke liye masala”

[He’ll give you just the food to sate your appetite, for each one Ramji gets the spice right]

, says the title song of this little-known gem of a film.

Ramji is a skilled cook from Bihar who, via some twists of fate, finds himself in London and must avoid getting deported. He lands a job in an Indian restaurant there and sets about achieving his other goal of making pots of money. I enjoyed this film very much, not least for its sunny depiction of my homeland Bihar (a rarity in Hindi films!)

4. Cheeni Kum (2007)

Food movies: Cheeni Kum The story of an egocentric chef in an Indian restaurant in London, whose attitude is "lacking in sweetness" (the literal translation of the film’s title).

The 64-year old chef, a confirmed bachelor, has only one passion in life – cooking. His life takes a turn when a beautiful 34-year old customer is displeased with his restaurant’s Zafrani biriyani. What follows is an animated argument about the recipe for the perfect biriyani, and lots of food talk/tips throughout the length of the movie. What should go in first into hot oil – asafoetida or onions? At what stage of cooking should lime juice be added? Cheeni Kum gives you the answers.

5. Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009)

Food movies: Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani Not exactly a food-themed film but the food motif runs throughout the goofy comedy – if only in the shape of cakes thrown into people’s faces.

This film finds a mention here for the priceless scene of Ranbir Kapoor transforming into a cook in a halwai (dessert-maker)’s kitchen. He balls up laddoos with utmost glee and jiggles in tandem with jalebi batter squiggling into hot oil. Watch the video (email/RSS readers, please go to the blog for this) [0:45 to 1:52]:

More films in which the hero plays a chef (I don’t like these too much):

  • Salaam Namaste (2005)
  • Break Ke Baad (2010)

Which food movies, movie scenes or roles are your favorites?

9 Responses to “5 Fun Food Movies in Hindi”

  1. Prerna February 24, 2012 at 2:36 AM #

    The first that comes to my mind is Julie and Julia (surprise, surprise!); I wonder if ever someone will attempt to make a Hindi version of this. and the other one- the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice and wonderland, the animated movie.
    Lovely post, thanks for sharing!

    • S February 24, 2012 at 11:58 PM #

      I have yet to watch Julie and Julia, your comment doubled my wish to see it. A Hindi version? Very unlikely :( Talking of Hindi versions, I’d love it if someone does them for more two-herione films – Thelma and Louise, The Devil Wears Prada, even The Holiday.

      Hollywood offers a lot more food-themed films doesn’t it? Animation specially. The first ones I can think of – Ratatouille and the spaghetti-eating scene in Lady And The Tramp.

      • Prerna February 25, 2012 at 1:57 AM #

        Point. I wonder why? In India we do love to eat so can’t say it is a cultural things. or is it? hmmm… Would love to see ratatouille and Thelma and Lousie (:O Yes i haven’t watched it,,, yet!)They did try the experiment with the hindi avtar of Step-mom- the trailers scared me.. dare I attempt a watch?

      • S February 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM #

        “We Are Family”? Avoid!

        Indian films rarely go beyond the tried-and-tested genres like romance, family drama, action. Where they do, they tend to make a mess (Ra.One!). Or maybe there is so much “masala” already in our films that the industry does not feel the need to focus more on food :P

        Talking of Ra.One: food scene in that film too – the Tamil hero mixes spaghetti and dahi and eats it with his hands.

    • Rani March 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM #

      Julie and julia is for all those who loves cooking and is a passion for them.I have watched this movie several times and it has inspired me to try new dishes.

      Love you julie and julia

      • S March 13, 2015 at 2:45 PM #

        Got round to watching Julie and Julia last night – such fun! Loved the split narrative.

  2. mustardseed February 26, 2012 at 3:21 AM #

    When ever I think of food and films for some reason I am reminded of “Fried Green Tomatoes” It is also one of my fav films! But I enjoyed reading this list and also the hindi idioms list in the past :)

    • S February 27, 2012 at 7:09 PM #

      Yet to watch Fried Green Tomatoes. I looked it up on Wiki and it sounds very interesting. Hollywood has a thing for tomatoes it seems. There’s also Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

  3. S April 3, 2017 at 6:30 AM #

    An enjoyable Hindi movie where food plays some part is Engllish Vinglish …

    But a really good food movie is Babette’s Feast.
    Another good one is Eat Drink Man Woman (by Ang Lee)…

    I don’t think there is any Hindi movie that is actually about food and eating. It’s a peripheral theme at best.

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