breakfast / musing. / snack / tiffin

Tiffin tales.

Now that my kids are out, I suddenly seem to have lost that creative cooking streak. Forget it, I have lost the zeal to cook. Cooking now means quick, crunchy without damaging the teeth, and with less oil, Idli dosa are too tedious to make for two people, upma and poha become monotonous.

one thing I realized is no one who cooks, cooks alone, even the most solitary cook in a kitchen is surrounded by cooks of the past, the advice and menus of cooks present and/ the wisdom of cook book writers.  And now the YouTube kitchen Messiah’s are here.

OJ Simpson tells me we don’t get mood swings by eating cornflakes. Considering I am menopausal and dealing with huge mood swings, and Mrs.Gupta has the largest cache of cornflakes recipes I think it is time I invited myself to “Tiffin” at Gupta’s. Of course the pesky pre-teen son and the teenage daughters are added attraction.

Think about this;

every one runs around trying to find a place where they still serve Tiffin, because eating Tiffin, even if it’s  5 0’clock in the afternoon is a sign that the day has just begun and good things can still happen. Having lunch is like throwing the towel.

The word tiffin always fascinated me. My mom asking “tiffin yenu” or MTR the famous Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, through Agatha Christie’s Anglo-Indian characters were always talking about chota hazari and tiffin.

When I did look into the dictionary tiffin had come up from light midday meal.  In the Indian context a main meal always had rice or roti in it.  Being strongly rooted in the Tam-Bram tradition for me tiffin, or rather tiffun as my paternal grandmother pronounced it, meant idli, dosa, whatever.

As a kid, Raju coming on his bicycle to collect tiffin, and my mother’s great challenge of keeping tiffin ready by 11 o’clock fascinated me. By the time it was my turn to pack the tiffin box had re-invented itself to a sleeker smaller size and was renamed as “dabba” but the challenge was the same,”tiffin nalli yenu” that’s what’s for tiffin

Traditionally the dabba had whatever was made for breakfast, and in the word breakfast that was synonymous with “tiffin” had become “nashta” in the Marathi Hindi environment that I had relocated to. To my confusion here “nashta” meant anything not eaten in formal meal time, when I say meal I mean roti or rice.

Tiffin could also mean to each lunch, to provide lunch, serve lunch or just lunch. Interesting . The Nashta still remains non-lunch. But it is to eat a meal that is not lunch,

Check out the Gupta’s breakfast menu at

Some interesting recipes that I found were,  this is a great recipe to use make Prasad, cornflakes katta moon another interesting recipe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s