Dal Puri Diaspora

Richard Fung

2012, 80:25 minutes, colour, English, Bhojpuri , English subtitles,Closed Captions


The recipe for dal puri traveled with indentured workers from India’s Gangetic plain to Southern Caribbean colonies in the nineteenth-century. In the 1960s, the wrapped roti migrated from Trinidad to North America, where it is known as Caribbean or West Indian roti and is popular in cities like New York and Toronto. As the dish moved from home fire to street stall to restaurant chain, and from festival to fast food, the flatbread was radically transformed in ingredients, cooking method, ways of eating and, identity. Shot in Toronto, Trinidad, and India, this documentary tracks dal puri’s remarkable passage across space and time, linking colonialism, migration and the globalization of tastes. The documentary features interviews with leading food writers and scholars including Pushpesh Pant, Naomi Duguid, Brinsley Samaroo, Radhika Mongia and Patricia Mohammed.

"I never expected to see anyone make an intellectual documentary about the roots of roti, but that’s exactly what Richard Fung delivers in Dal Puri Diaspora. Tracing the origins of the beloved curry wrap and its various permutations around the world (including his native Trinidad), Fung winds up examining the way culture is appropriated by outsiders." Norman Wilner, NOW Magazine (rated NNNN)

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