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What your dabbawala has for lunch

He delivers calorie-free lunches to city’s fitness freaks. But ask dabbawala Babban Kadam about olive oil or a low-carbohydrate diet, and all you will get is a blank stare.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2011 15:37 IST
Reetika Subramanian
Reetika Subramanian
Hindustan Times

He delivers calorie-free lunches to city’s fitness freaks. But ask dabbawala Babban Kadam about olive oil or a low-carbohydrate diet, and all you will get is a blank stare.
Kadam, who has been delivering tiffins to south Mumbai offices for the last 26 years has never visited a gym and can barely pronounce the word “calorie”. However, he has managed to maintain a fit body even at the age of 49.

“We don’t earn enough to afford rich, high-calorie food. Moreover, we operate packed schedules during the day, which don’t allow even a snack in the middle of the day,” said Kadam. The dabbawala carries only two dry rotis and one dry sabzi in his dabba. “We purchase oil and ghee only during festivals,” added Kadam, who cycles for almost three hours every day to commute to his workplace from his home in Kandivali.

Eknath Khandghor, a Jogeshwari-based dabbawala, carries the same lunch as Kadam. “It’s only recently that people have started getting conscious about their health and fitness. My humble lifestyle and strenuous job have helped me stay fit without incurring an additional expense,” said the 29-year-old tiffin carrier, who has a relatively elaborate spread for dinner. “My dinner comprises an additional bowl of dal and raita makes up my dinner, which gives me the much-needed proteins and vitamins,” he added.
“If we binge in the afternoons, we will automatically feel lethargic to work.”

Healthy tiffin services
Healthy Tiffin
Home-made, low fat lunch meals. Personalised dabbas also available.
Sample dabba: Mixed vegetable + sprouts + dal + vegetarian clear soup + green salad + five wheat/soya rotis.
Price: Rs2,050 per month, including delivery
Contact: Sushma Bhonsale: 28325280

Diet Delivery
All meals are low on calories, cooked in rice bran oil/olive oil. Clients get an advance notification of the week’s menu.

Meal packages
Indian meals:
Low calorie meal plan (Veg: Rs115, Non-veg: Rs125)
Balanced meal plan (Veg:Rs 130; Non-veg: Rs140)

Multi-cuisine meals:
Low calorie meal plan (Veg: Rs149; Non-veg: Rs159)
Balanced meal plan (Veg: Rs159; Non-veg: Rs169)
Contact: 64207007/ 08

Dr's Kitchen Veg Tiffin Service
Apart from delivering nutritious food, they offer free health check-ups. No repetitions of menu in 30 days.

Meal packages
Mini lunch:
Vegetable + three chappatis + dal + mouth
freshener: Rs35
Eco lunch: Vegetable + four chappatis + salad + appetiser + dessert + freshener: Rs 55
Full lunch: Vegetable + four chappatis+ rice + dal+ appetizer + sweet + mouth freshener: Rs65
Contact:022- 66712565

Vital Foods
Food contains no preservatives, monosodium glutamate or artificial colours, and very little oil. Customised meal packages for those with diet restrictions.

Meal packages
Diet meal:
Multigrain rotis + organic brown rice + salad + dal + seasonal vegetable, limejuice/buttermilk. Rs2,450 per month, excluding delivery
Regular meal: Wheat rotis + white rice + dal + salad + vegetables + limejuice/buttermilk. Rs2,410 per month
Mini meal: Rotis + Dal + a vegetable. Rs55 to Rs60 per meal
Contact: 26126909/10

Calorie Care
Microwave-safe containers, all three meals of the day provided, personalised meal plans based on personal health goals and cuisine preferences.

Meal packages
All meals are available in three options including low-calorie, medium-calorie and high-calorie packages.
Breakfast: South Indian vegetarian; Rest of India vegetarian; Egg-based breakfasts. (Rs90 to Rs100 per meal, based on the package)
Lunch: Indian vegetarian; International vegetarian; Indian non-vegetarian; International non-vegetarian (Rs115 to Rs220 per meal, based on the package)
Dinner: Vegetarian and non-vegetarian, including regular, low-sugar and low-salt meals (Rs105 to Rs 210 per meal, based on the package)
Contact: 24122100

First Published: Sep 08, 2011 15:29 IST