The Indian Tiffin

Everyday, near large Indian cities, women cook delicious meals for their family members, put them into tiffins which are then conveyed later that morning into the city by dabbawallahs who receive something less than $5 monthly for this service.

Mine has a 14” stack of 4, roughly 2-cup compartments each with a lid (3 recessed and one cover). The bottom container mounts a strap that when attached over the other three, keeps them all safely and tightly locked together. I don’t know yet if they leak when turned upside down, but clearly when kept upright, nothing will ever slosh out.

I simply couldn’t resist ordering this Indian lunchbox fascinated as I am with the food and culture.

Sun Microsystems once made a short film to teach the technological concepts of the Internet using tiffins and dabba delivery as a metaphor for the data packets and routing that conveys meals from outside the city to the workers. PBS has made a more recent documentary about the commercial, economical and social considerations of the tiffin and dabba phenomenon.

I can’t wait to start putting some of my tasty Indian dishes into my tiffin to take to work. However, I haven’t decided how to get around the fact that I can’t put the tiffin in the microwave for warming. Maybe a toaster oven or a big steamer?