“Tiffin” word originated during the British India epoch and it means “to sip” referring to the meal consumed at tea time. Origins of the word are a little ambiguous and confusing. But if one closely scrutinizes the Tiffin or Dabba, it is actually a hauler useful in temporary storage and transporting a meal or lunch. In general, traditional tiffins were made of aluminum or stainless steel alloy, consisting of interlocking three to four-tiers at the bottom of the containers that fit well one on top of the other. Tiffin carriers were opened by unlocking a small catch on either side of the strap handle, then removing it. A very simple yet ingenious product used efficiently till date, for transporting lunch on a daily basis. An affordable innovation without a doubt and is by and large found in most Indian households. Today, modern day tiffins or lunch boxes are made from numerous alloys and varied materials such as toughened plastics, silicone, melamine etc. They come in various shapes and sizes.
The specific meal in a tiffin varies, depending on the regional parlance, but as a general rule, tiffin mainly holds individual portion of chapattis (Indian flat breads), rice, dal, vegetable dishes or meats, and something sweet. Now, tiffins or lunch boxes are largely of two types one that goes to the workplace to feed lunch to the adult or bread earner of the household and one that the school children carry to school. One dilemma, which troubles most mothers of school-going children, is what to pack in their tiffin boxes. Children easily get bored of eating the same foods and even the adults.
Keeping this in mind, I came up with a viable solution, my new latest offering Tiffins – Delicious and healthy khana for dabba will make life simpler! My first memories are of my own dabba, enjoying the lunch break at school, relishing the food packed so lovingly by my mother. Now, at home too I see my wife Alyona trying to make something new every now and then so that our daughters bring home empty tiffin boxes. I have shared my entire experience in this book.
Delight your child with a Nutella Sandwich or a Chicken and Cheese Sandwich to nibble on during the short break. Pack a helping of Kale Chane Puri or Pasta Hot Pot for the long break. You can enjoy these delights in your dabba too! And for those who like sweets, pack a Chocolate Brownie or a Tutti-fruity Cupcake. And if I may warn you, be sure to pack extra food for your colleagues - they will definitely want some too. To spice things up or to break the monotony of daily meals, accompaniments like yoghurt, raita, tamarind and mint chutney can be routinely added in.
All recipes are devised keeping in mind that food packed in the tiffin retains its freshness. For the offices going crowd, who have the facility of microwave, the food recipes that can be easily re-heated are included. All said and done due credit to the Indian housewives who are the primary force that make the daily tiffin scenario possible and pack in the wholesome meals with much effort and love.