Two words that take any Indian back to their school days and to the time when their mums sent them a delicious hot lunch in a two, three or four tiered stainless steel tiffin. My sisters and I shared a four-tiered tiffin where chappatis and salad were put in the top one; a vegetable dish in the second one; rice in the third; and dal in the bottom most one. Our dabbawalla or tiffin carrier was always an employee of my dad’s factory – the dal invariably leaked out of the last container if the tiffin was carried by a young and restless employee and was intact if the dabba was delivered by an old hand.
When I was in kindergarten I thought it was very unfair for me to spend the whole day in school when there were so many exciting things to be done at home. So my favourite dabbawalla would faithfully bring me home in the afternoon oblivious to my mother’s rage at my truancy. Every morning she told him to resist me, and every afternoon I came back home with a smug smile on my face. Imagine the shock when one afternoon she lay in wait for us, took me off his bike bundled me into the car and carried me protesting to my class room and deposited me in front of the teacher. Needless to say, I never came home in the afternoon again.
Enough of nostalgia! What’s the point of all this, you ask.
Well, about three weeks ago I was contacted by a site called Indian-Tiffin.com enquiring about whether I could write recipes for them. How could I not refuse? Especially when the dishes I make are meant to be photographed in a gorgeous stainless steel three-tiered tiffin supplied by them.
Here is one of my recipes for Kala Channa or black chick peas on their site.
Check out Indian Tiffiin and whilst you are there why not buy a dabba for your home? They can be quite useful you know.