Aasif Mandvi Eats Steak on the Set of ‘The Daily Show’

"Mostly my diet is pretty simple and healthy."Photo: Melissa Hom

Aside from being a regular correspondent on The Daily Show, Aasif Mandvi is a prominent actor and has co-written a film Seven to the Palace. Loosely based on his Obie-winning play, Sakinas Restaurant, and set partly in a Jackson Heights eatery, it deals with a chefs relationship to food: Indian cuisine has a lot to do with how youre feeling, says Mandvi. It comes out of a tradition of a pinch of this, and a dash of that. Though Mandvi played a pizza-parlor owner in Spider-Man 2 (and then in a Dominos commercial), he doesnt eat much of the stuff himself. So what does he eat? Over to you, Aasif

Thursday, June 28
I had some oatmeal. I get into breakfast grooves its the most fun meal of the day for me. I went through two years where all I ate was an egg-white omelette with Feta and tomato. Before that I was a cereal guy. Now Im in an oatmeal phase oatmeal with berries and nuts. Ill probably eat that every day for the next two years.

Wednesday, June 27
During the week at The Daily Show we get a catered lunch. Its great. We have a different thing every day. This day was roast beef. It was like a steak, so I had that with vegetables.

For dinner I went to Peters and had a chicken Caesar its a cool, relaxing restaurant-bar that I like to go to. Its a great place to meet people after work. I was introduced to it the night of September 11 it was the only place I could get a table. Some friends and I spent four hours there.

Tuesday, June 26
I had chicken breast for lunch, and some brown rice and some vegetables.

I got tuna salad from Gigi by my house. Its a place where you can make your own salad. I live on the Upper West Side. I havent explored as many of the restaurants as I should, but theres a great hummus-and-falafel place I go to on 72nd and Columbus.

Monday, June 25
I had fish for lunch. I stay very close to eating vegetables and a lot of fruit. Mostly my diet is pretty simple and healthy, except when I eat Indian food then I go crazy.

I was involved in a reading, At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq, at the National Arts Club, so I didnt actually have dinner. They had hummus, vegetables I ate some of that.

Sunday, June 24
I took this hellish long flight from California. I had Blue Chips on the plane. I was really hungry afterward so I had a burger at Peters, medium-well. They have pretty good burgers there.

Saturday, June 23
I was at this event in Napa called Tamarind Grove, a South Asian retreat. We had an Indian feast. It was literally everything lamb, chicken, various rices, dahl, and nan. I eat Indian a couple times a month. I have a favorite place, Dawat, and I love to go down to 6th Street. Youre never going to get the real thing, but I just like the kitsch of it.