'Daily Show' Correspondent Aasif Mandvi Is a Pescatarian, Loves Peanut Butter

The star of 'Today's Special' reveals his feelings on Indian food and culture


What does Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi snack on regularly? Not Indian food, but peanut butter.

The star, who will appear on the Cooking Channel in May with Indian chef and co-star Madhur Jaffrey, recently spoke with Sarah Khan and The New York Times to reveal some surprising dietary habits: first, he's not a foodie. The fact that he's a pescatarian (who eats fish, but not meat) and practically vegan is especially surprising considering his role in 2010's film, Today's Special.

Today's Special isn't the first Indian restuarant-themed production Mandvi has been involved in; his first hit was the off-Broadway play Sakina's Restaurant he wrote in the mid-1990s. Years later, he relied on the same experiences to write the screenplay for (and star in) Today's Special, also based on an Indian restaurant. Sakina's Restaurant heled him connect with his Indian heritage, he said in the interview. Mandvi said, "I feel like for me, this was my personal journey of reconnecting with my ethnicity. I reintegrated myself into my own Indian-ness by writing that play. I was like, ‘Guess what, I’m Indian!'"

While he touches on his thoughts on Muslim representation in the media and his dating experiences, what was the most amusing was his love of the American staple peanut butter. He said, "When I was 11 my friend’s mom made a peanut butter sandwich. I ate the sandwich and was like, ‘I’m never eating anything else again.’ And I still eat peanut butter every day ... I would put peanut butter on a steak." (We hope for his sake he doesn't.)

While you can catch Mandvi on Comedy Central, we think he's great in Today's Special. Check out the DVD extra in the movie where Madvi and Jaffrey cook okra with shallots.


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