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Dabba comes to rescue when hunger strikes

delhi Updated: Jul 07, 2008 02:57 IST
Karan Choudhury
Karan Choudhury
Hindustan Times
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So after you have secured admission in a college of your choice or got the course of your choice and found yourself a place to stay, hostel or rented accommodation. The next thing to do on the list is find out about food. Yes, the lucky ones who got hostel accommodation need not worry. This piece is for those not-so-lucky students who had to hunt for rented rooms.

And if you are among those who can't even light a gas stove or at times you don't feel like eating PG food, tiffin service is always ready for you. Finding a tiffin service, popularly known as dabbawallah, is not tough in places like RK Puram, Lajpat Nagar and Satya Niketan. The dabbawallahs mostly deliver lunch at nominal rates, which can be priced between Rs 750 for vegetarian food and Rs 1,000-Rs 2,000 for non-vegetarian ones.

Students prefer dabbawallahs not because they are a culinary experience. They are the closest they can get to home-cooked food. “We cannot survive on food available at the dhabas, they are too spicy. They might not taste that great but at least I can safely have them everyday as they hygienic and have just the right amount of spices,” said Gautam Chand, a DU student.

A dabba contains four-six rotis, a bowl of rice, dal, one or two subzi. It will cost more if you add to it a salad and curd. They cost Rs 1,500 a month for two meals a day. One can also get a dabba for less than Rs 1,000 a month for fewer items or can go for dabbas with non-vegetarian food, which will cost about Rs 2,500.

Rajiv Sharma, owner of one such tiffin service, said, “We make food according to the requirement of the students. The food is kept simple but we can spice it up if they want to. The food is sent at a time that suits them. The charge for each meal is between Rs 45 and Rs 55.”

But if you are not fond of dal and roti and want something else there are other options available as well. For all the Bengali bhadraloks, who just love their maach and bhaat there are tiffin services serving Bengali food as well.

Jyotirmoy Guha, owner of such tiffin services in CR Park, said, “We serve authentic Bengali food. People have a choice between fish, chicken and meat. The food is cooked according to the order they place. The price per tiffin is Rs 75. We mainly get orders from Bengali students who have come from other states.”