For one of the spectacular scenes in Jodhaa-Akbar, Ashutosh Gowarikar went the extra mile to have it look authentic. In the scene Hrithik Roshan as Akbar and his ministers are attending a lavish feast served by Aishwarya Rai’s character Jodhaa. To get the correct look for the film, Gowarikar had cooks from Rajasthan flown in to specially prepare traditional food from the region, including dal, bati and a dish made of lentils, baked wheat balls, powdered sweetened cereal, called churma. He wanted to look of the food not only to be traditional but visually appealing and colorful.
The cooks prepared enough food for 80 people because it is almost impossible to get such a lavish scene done in one take, so the food has to be reset after each yell of CUT. One actor said from the sets, “With every re-take, we have to eat more. Food is always cooked in bulk so that we can re-shoot sequences if required. Rajasthani food is rich in ghee and we wanted to avoid it.” So at the casts request, the food was cooked in oil instead of the ghee. Both Aishwarya and Hrithik follow very careful diets, so they also requested that the spices in the dishes be used less as well.
However, once the scene was completed, the leftovers made a wonderful feast for the crew! They had an excellent time eating their fill of the delicious food. Certainly wish I could have been a visitor on the sets that day!