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Dal Puri Diaspora
80 minutes
English subtitles

Dal Puri Diaspora

The recipe for dal puri traveled with indentured workers from India’s Gangetic plain to southern Caribbean colonies of Britain and the Netherlands in the 19th 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.
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“DAL PURI DIASPORA sizzles…” - Norman Wilner, NOW Magazine
“Sound, smell and taste can act as powerful memory triggers giving food the power to transport the eater back through time, perhaps even home.” - Michele Henry, Toronto Star
"Fung interviews cooks, shop owners, authors, scholars, and historians, assembling a timeline beginning in the mid-19th up through the early-20th centuries when indentured workers brought roti from India to the Caribbean colonies, while also touching on the history of sugar cane production and slavery in the Caribbean. Interwoven are present-day human interest stories, as well as culinary details of preparing roti. Animations and archival photographs add visual interest in between interviews, and shots of flatbread being rolled out, fried, and folded. An unusually meticulous tribute to the complex history of a single dish, this is recommended." - M. Puffer-Rothenberg, Video Librarian Magazine

• Samsung Audience Award, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
• Best Feature Film, CaribbeanTales International Film Festival
• Dhaka International Film Festival
• Madurai Film Festival
• Reframe, Peterborough
• Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival
• Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

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