All you outstation fuchchas, home-cooked meal is just a dabba away

  • Nikita Saxena, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2016 19:44 IST

For outstation students who will be coming to saddi Dilli for higher education, a major concern will be eating ghar-jaisa khaana at pocket-friendly rates. Not only students, even parents worry about their children’s diet when they are away from home for studies. “Beta, khaana khaaya na?” and “Aaj khaane mein kya khaaya?” become the most frequently asked questions.

In such a situation, it is the dabbawalas or tiffin services that come to the rescue of these college kids. Thankfully, there is no dearth of such services in the Capital. HT City brings you some options that promise a home cooked meal that will not shake your budget, whether you reside near South Campus or North Campus of Delhi University.

North Campus

“I have been in this business for about seven years now, and it is going great. Din ke 150 tiffin araam se sale ho jaate hain”, says Shashi, owner of Shashi Tiffin Service in Keshav Puram. What she says is reiterated by many other dabbawaalas in North Campus as the area has a large student population that live as paying guests.

Areas that most of these dabbawalas deliver to in North Campus, include Hudson Lane, Kamla Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, Model Town. The prices of these services begin from Rs. 3,000 per month and can go up to Rs. 4,500 a month, depending on whether the tiffin service offers vegetarian food or non-vegetarian food. The vegetarian dabbas include dal, sabzi, rotis, rice, and salad, raita or achaar. The non-vegetarian dabbas provide the same options except for dal, which gets replaced with a non-veg curry. While most dabbawalas offer Indian cuisine, there are a few who offer regional food as well.

Lohit Da, a dabbawaala who cooks Assamese and Northeastern meals for students, says, “Vegetarian dabba costs Rs 2,400 per month and the non-vegetarian dabba costs Rs 3,000. The non-vegetarian is obviously costlier as the dishes include egg curry, chicken curry, and then on some days there is fish curry.” Ask him which of the two dabbas is more popular, and he says: “Log humare paas non-veg dabbe ke liye zyaada aate hain kyuki baaki dabbawaale vegetarian hain.”

There are different cuisines that students can opt for — from North Indian to regional.

While most dabbawaalas deliver mostly only lunch and dinner, there are a few who also offer breakfast. Raghav Bansal, owner of My Chef’s Kitchen in Kamla Nagar, says, “Apart from lunch and dinner, we also have a breakfast and dinner package. The lunch dinner package costs Rs. 4,500 and the breakfast dinner package costs Rs. 4,200. In breakfast, we offer dishes such as poha, meetha dhokla, all kinds of paranthas and varghani, an Indori dish, among others.”

For those who would prefer having food that does not have garlic, there are dabbawalas that have garlic-free food options. Jain Tiffin Services in Vijay Nagar is one such tiffin service. Vikas Jain, the owner, shares, “Our food is mostly without onion and garlic. Agar koi kehta hai toh daal dete hain, nahi toh nahi dalta.”

Dabbawalas delivering to North Campus:

Lohit Da

Tel: 9891158114

Cuisine: Assamese home-style food.

Deliver to: Areas around North Campus in Delhi University

Charge: Vegetarian (Rs 2,400 per month) and non-vegetarian (Rs 3,000 per month)

J ain Tiffin Services

Tel: 01139516716

Cuisine: Jain food, North Indian vegetarian food

Deliver to: Vijay Nagar, Old Gupta Colony, Kamla Nagar

Charge: Rs. 60 per tiffin

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South Campus

When hunger strikes, nothing’s better than being able to hog on home-style food!

South Campus doesn’t boast of as many options as the North, but it still won’t disappoint. Mayank Garg, a DU student living in a PG in Karol Bagh, says, “North Campus definitely has more pocket-friendly dabbawalas than South Campus does. Yahan dabbawalas working logon ke liye bhi hain toh students ko unki services expensive lagti hai.”

The cost of vegetarian dabba service for a month starts from Rs 3,000 and can go up to Rs. 8,000 for dabbawalas who offer options such as mutton, chicken and fish. Ruchi Bhatia, owner of Bhatia Foods in Vasant Kunj, says, “One vegetarian dabba is Rs 100 and one non-vegetarian dabba is Rs. 150. It is a little expensive but it is healthy, home cooked good quality food. Those who can afford it will definitely buy it.”

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Dabbawalas in South Campus deliver to areas such as Satya Niketan, Kalkaji, Okhla, Vasant Kunj, Green Park, Munirka, Lajpat Nagar. While most dabbawalas do not have a half dabba option, there are few who do. Herbert Mathewh of Angel Tiffin Service, says, “The price of half dabba is Rs 3,000.” Not just that, the dabbas at Mathews’ tiffin service also have a lower-priced dabba for girls, as they usually “eat less”, says Herbert. “The price for a dabba for girls is Rs 3,000 per month. For boys, it is Rs 4,000 per month,” he adds.

Dabbawalas delivering to South Campus:

AGS Tiffin Service

Tel: 011-33069530

Cuisine: North Indian, home style vegetarian food

Areas delivered are: Gautam Nagarm Green Park, Safdarjung Enclave, Moti Bagh, Munirka

Charge: Rs. 50 per dabba

Bhatia Foods

Tel: 9818329897

Cuisine: North Indian, home style vegetarian and non-vegetarian food

Areas delivered are: Vasant Kunj

Charge: Rs 100 for vegetarian dabba, Rs 150 for non-vegetarian dabba

Mom’s Kitchen

Tel: 011-33416795

Cuisine: North Indian, home style vegetarian and non-vegetarian food

Areas delivered are: Karol Bagh, Dariyaganj, Connaught Place and surrounding areas

Charge: Rs 60 for vegetarian dabba, Rs 100 for non-vegetarian dabba

Angel Tiffin Service

Tel: 8750667775

Cuisine: North Indian home style vegetarian food

Areas delivered are: Satya Niketan

Charge: Rs 3,000 for monthly dabba for girls and Rs 4,000 for boys

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