Mommying BabyT

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Gulabjaam – a mouthwatering movie not to miss

My love for food is well known in social circles. And to top that I married into a community who also love their food. In our house, the most common discussion is “Aaj jevaila kai karaicha?” Marathi for “What should we cook today?” We think of food in our waking moments and in slumber mode too. And the icing on the cake or the Kesar on our gulab jamun is that we don’t just love to eat, we love to cook it. So when people called us, all out of the blue, and said “You guys must watch this Marathi film called Gulabjaam” we knew we shouldn’t miss it for the world.

This week my mother-in-law came to spend a few days with us and to keep her happy and busy I thought I’d run some Marathi movies or serials on Zee5. We don’t have cable at home. While going through the titles I found Gulabjaam and knew this is what we should watch. So while babyT took his afternoon nap, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, laughed, cried, licked our lips, hoped, despaired and rejoiced in the whole of the 2 hours that this movie runs for.

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It felt so relatable of our passions, a manifestation of many dreams which we had covered up in white dust blankets to make way for the daily grind. To say that this movie felt like it was made for me is an understatement. Something has stirred in me after I saw Gulabjaam and I am sure it will touch a chord with every person who watches it too, do take my word for it. With an 8.4 rating on IMDB, this movie is making hearts happier everywhere.

And that’s what I want to talk about.. food, glorious food. But first, let’s talk about the movie, shall we?

Gulabjaam movie review

Aditya the male protagonist feels stifled in a surprise engagement with his childhood friend Neha. While Neha can’t wait to join Aditya in London and splurge away the big figure income he earns working with a bank, Aditya has other plans. Instead of catching the flight back to London he arrives in Pune with an aim to learn simple, homemade Maharashtrian food – food that reminds him of his grandmom, feeding him lovingly when he was a child. He meets a reluctant teacher who tests every bit of his patience and sanity in order to make him earn his keep. But does the teacher need some schooling herself? And how does Aditya pay her back for the skill she imparts to him. A story that will move you, make you cry and rejoice at the end or even cook.

Why I loved Gulabjaam – the movie

It’s all about food. What’s not to love? And to top it Maharashtrian food.

The movie is a virtual feast for anyone who loves typical Maharashtrian dishes like ukdichey modak, puranpoli, kothimbir wadi and so on.

Maharashtrian cuisine is as diverse as its land. Famed for spicy non-vegetarian curries – think of the fiery Tambda rassa from Kolhapur, Marathi cuisine also serves up delectable vegetarian food, almost divine, holy, pure and Godlike. In fact, despite being a hardcore carnivore, my husband and I go weak at the knees when face to face with a pure vegetarian thali or jevan resplendent with a variety of things to eat.

Sweet, spicy, bitter, sour, tangy, cool, citrusy or crispy you can find all these flavours & textures on a Marathi jevan thali. Most often cooked on holy days or as naivedya for the Gods.  Only after it is tasted by the God are lesser mortals like us allowed to even have a bite.

And it’s healthy too… with a balance of vegetables, proteins, grains and millets it is a meal that will make you feel good.

Even laying out this jevan is an art. very item has its own allocated place and every dish must go in the rightful place. I’ve earned the stink eye from my MIL on many occasions when I’ve just splashed on food in any random order. But to be right this is my reference point for laying out a jevan thali. 

I can’t stop thinking about Gulabjaam

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When my husband and I were dating, he often told me about his childhood days from summer vacations or Diwali when his mother would make bowls full of gulabjaam. His friends who I met also accorded the Gulabjaam a legend like status. Needless to say, I could not wait to taste it too. And when I did, I knew what the tales stood for.

My husband and I resolved to preserve the food culture of our respective communities and pass it on our future generation too. We spoke to the elders in our family and wrote down recipes in a yellow diary.

With the passage of time, however, we stopped writing recipes, we reduced the cooking and feeding we did. Watching Gulabjaam reminded me of all that. And now I can only hope we have found our lost passion for food and more specifically for jevan.

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15 Comments

  1. When I started reading, I was expecting a regional language movie review on how different it was. Girl you surprised me, with your personal touch filled me memories. Watching a movie hatke from drama genre and getting a takeaway is wonderful. Loved reading this.

  2. I recently watched gulabjam and I completely agree with your review and views. The movie made me nostalgic about my granny’s meals that are talked about even today. India has such variety in food that we should feel blessed. It’s like tasting 29 country cuisine in one country!

  3. What a fabulous movie review, really liked how you added a bit of your experience to make it more relatable. I have never had Maharashtrian food, but being a foodie myself I love to read and watch about various cuisines apart from trying it out. Seems like a great movie will watch it tonight!

  4. Nice Movie Review, with a little spice added of your experience. i am gonna watch this movie !

  5. I love how you’ve spun a movie review around your own personal anecdotes to share about food. Well, Tara, I’m your neighbor; coming to the Maharashtrian cuisine that you’ve mentioned. Our Konkan styles of cooking have a lot in common with the Maharashtrian way of food. A majority of the dishes, including sweets like modaks, nevri (karanji), fish stews, drinks like the solkadi & a whole plethora of mouthwatering items!

    Your review now really makes me want to watch the movie!

  6. I have recently watched gulabjam and I totally agree with your views and that Maharashtrian thali looks so yummy.

  7. Such a great way of putting up a movie review. My husband is a Mumbaikar & is brought up in Maharashtrian culture. I am sure he will love watching this movie & translating it for me.

  8. Wow that’s nice , this movie review sounds so good that I will be watching it soon.

  9. What a wonderful review. Never expected it to turn out so intense and touching looking at the name. I was pleasantly surprised how beautifully it brings back the richness of our food and culture. I would love to watch this if it has English subtitles.

  10. Being from maharashtra I too see Marathi films and this looks realy must watch as the concept of real Marathi family and their food is makes me feel some thing like apnapan

  11. I am enticed to watch this movie after reading your review. And I can so relate with some of your memories. We are a big foodie family here too.

  12. After reading this post, not only am I enticed to watch a film, but also eat a Jevan thali! Your love for food clearly comes out in this post 🙂

  13. Wow movie on food has to be mouth watering especially when a male protagonist is cooking, it has to be a different story.

  14. Awwww Tara, does this movie have subtitles? Because I TOTALLY want to see it!! It is mouthwatering, but also filled my heart with so much love, because we LOVE food the way you guys do <3 and the idea of a dairy full of beautiful recipes from our ancestors sounds precious <3

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