In this super-feel-good foodie comedy, young Manhattan chef Samir rediscovers his heritage and his passion for life through the enchanting art of cooking Indian food.


David Kaplan


Aasif Mandvi (screenplay), Jonathan Bines (screenplay) | 1 more credit »





Credited cast:
Jess Weixler ... Carrie
Kevin Corrigan ... Stanton
Dean Winters ... Steve
Aarti Mann ... Henna (as Aarti Majmudar)
Aasif Mandvi ... Samir
Amir Arison ... Dr. Semaan
Naseeruddin Shah ... Akbar
Ajay Naidu ... Munnamia
Kevin Breznahan ... Freddie
Angela Lewis ... Woman Looking at Menu
Ranjit Chowdhry ... Regular #1
Chloe Brooks ... Woman #2 (as Chloe Cmarada)
Kumar Pallana ... Regular #2
Harish Patel ... Hakim
Erica Peeples ... Waitress


Samir is a sous chef in Manhattan. He quits when he's not promoted - his boss says his cooking lacks soul. He decides to find an unpaid internship in Paris, but his father suffers a heart attack keeping him home for a few weeks. Samir must run the family's failing Indian restaurant in Queens. He can't cook Indian food, so things get dire when the chef quits: Samir tracks down Akbar, a cabbie who claims to have cooked for British royalty in Bombay. Akbar cooks with mind, heart, and gut - and offers philosophy as well. With the help of Carrie, whom he met at the Manhattan restaurant, Samir begins to enjoy the work. But will his father approve, and if not, what then? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

chef | cooking | cook | food | indian food | See All (33) »


Life Has No Recipe



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The restaurant shown in the movie is now Thakali Kitchen in Flushing, NY, specializing in Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine. See more »


Akbar: I was even engaged to the daughter of a wealthy nutmeg merchant; you wouldn't believe how good she smelled.
Samir: Do you ever think about her?
Akbar: Only when I drink eggnog.
See more »


References Teesri Manzil (1966) See more »


Ina Mina Dika
Arranged by Siddhartha Khosla
Performed by Goldspot
See more »

User Reviews

Wow great movie... left me smiling =)
29 April 2012 | by jayzdudeSee all my reviews

Saw this movie floating around on netflix. I was really bored one night and decided to check out the movie. I was glad I did, its one of those movies that just leaves you in a better mood than when you started: a feel good movie! The acting is good with really likable characters especially the cab driver/cook whose character I just love. I never really was a fan of The Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi. Didn't like the humor or anything too much but he is great in this movie and can actually act. Now fair warning, I liked this movie a lot in part due to my ability to relate/understand the culture behind the story (I am an Indian college student in the USA) and also love the old school Hindi songs in it (hooked me into the movie). The movie is also typical in some of its approach and formula, it isn't anything new or groundbreaking. But nonetheless it is very enjoyable and isn't just restricted to brown people lol. This movie is easy to relate to if you are a first generation foreigner (of any country IMO). It just enhances the movie experience. I'll definitely will be showing this movie to my friends. The movie fits a nice category of movies that isn't very abundant: a great light drama, semi romantic, light comedy. Another movie I would include in that category would be Morning Glory with Rachel McAdams.

Bottomline: give this movie a chance and watch it, you won't be disappointed!

Extra awesomeness--- Dennis Duffy (30 Rock) is in it (for a bit)! Love me some 30 Rock

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Official Sites:

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English | Hindi

Release Date:

11 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Untitled Aasif Mandvi Feature Project See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$90,639, 21 November 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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