The film tells the story of two young and modern Indians, Nick and Ambar, who have left their homes in India to make a life on their own in Melbourne, Australia. The story follows one year of their lives, dealing with their problems and relationships, from their first meeting at a wedding ceremony, to their decision to move in together without marriage, to their break-up upon discovering that Ambar is pregnant.
Salaam Namaste became one of the biggest box-office hits of 2005 in India, as well as India's biggest hit in the overseas market that year. On 24 September 2005, the script of the film was invited to be included in the Margaret Herrick Library, which is operated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Zinta received several nominations for her role in various film ceremonies, such as the Filmfare Awards, IIFA Awards, Star Screen Awards and Zee Cine Awards.
Nikhil "Nick" Arora (Saif Ali Khan) and Ambar "Amby" Malhotra (Preity Zinta) are two progressive, young Indians who have left India to live in Melbourne, Australia. Nick was originally sent abroad to become an architect, however his real passion is cooking. After graduating, he designs a restaurant, which he ultimately takes over and becomes the head chef. His job allows him to have a laid-back lifestyle and get up late in the morning, both aspects that he values very much. While living at home in Bangalore, Ambar had rejected more than a dozen marriage proposals. Her parents suspected that she did not want to get married, however she denied this. She arrived in Australia for a one-year foreign exchange program and decided to stay and become a surgeon. After hearing this, her parents disowned her. To pay for her education, she works as a R.J. at a local radio station, 'Salaam Namaste'.
Nick is scheduled to do an interview for Salaam Namaste, but he oversleeps and irritated Ambar insults him on the air. Another interview is arranged but Nick oversleeps again and he is, once again, insulted by Ambar for being late.
Nick is the caterer for a wedding attended by Ambar. His best friend Ranjan (Ron) (Arshad Warsi) falls in love with Ambar's best friend Cathy (Tania Zaetta) at the wedding. Nick also feels a connection with Ambar, although they have no idea who the other really is. Nick tells Ambar he is an architect and Amber tells him that she is a Student of Medicine. Ron and Cathy hastily marry the next day and Nick and Ambar discover each other's true identities. Nick gives the interview on Salaam Namaste, where he states, publicly, that he loves Ambar. Nick and Ambar become friends and eventually move in together and fall in love. They both make love. A few months later, Ambar discovers she is pregnant, and they decide to end the pregnancy. Nick takes her to get an abortion, but she cannot go through with it. The pair fight and then break up.