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Dabba Treats recipes
Last Updated : Apr 26,2018
Lunch in your dabba
In most Indian languages, dabba typically means box or tiffin box. In colloquial usage, it refers to food that is carried from home to school or work, to be eaten after a few hours at lunch time. The dabba is usually some kind of air-tight container that does not dry up or leak the contents and keeps it relatively fresh.
The dabba network that works in Mumbai is well-known all over the world, and is the subject of several management case studies! In Mumbai, there are dabbawallahs who collect food packed in tiffin dabbas from people’s homes and deliver it to their offices close to lunch time. However, not everybody avails of this service in the city, and people in other cities and towns have no such facilities, so it becomes necessary to pack their food in the morning and take it along when they leave their homes.
Food that is packed in the dabba has to be such that it remains good even after a few hours. So, people are always wondering what to pack! There are some time-tested dishes like rice preparations and chapattis and many people stick to this. They are afraid to experiment for the fear that the food might not be good in the afternoon. However, there are many dishes that can be packed in the tiffin dabba, ranging from pastas to pulaos and parathas too. You just need to know the trick of how to prepare and pack them.
6 types of foods that can go into your dabba
1. Plain parathas with subzi
This is a basic dabba recipe that is enjoyed by one and all. When making the subzi, you should make the gravy a little thick and not watery, to avoid leakage.
2. Stuffed parathas
Stuffed parathas are self-sufficient because of the flavourful fillings, so when you pack these you do not have to bother too much about accompaniments. Just some chutney, curds, raita or ketchup can be packed in a separate container. The parathas should be totally cooled after cooking and wrapped in aluminium foils or banana leaves and then packed in air-tight containers. If your paratha uses aloo, you can boil it the previous night itself and keep it in the fridge.
3. Rice preparations
Rice, flavoured with myriad ingredients and masalas, is a time-tested dabba option. It lasts for long, tastes fabulous and it loved by all. If you are in too much of a hurry in the morning, you can boil the rice the previous night itself. Else, you can consider pressure-cooking the rice in the morning.
Sandwiches must be made with fresh bread. Avoid using tomatoes, ketchup and mayonnaise in your sandwich as it will become soggy. You can carry these in a separate box and add before eating. Allow the sandwiches to cool, pack them in aluminium foil or banana leaves and then pack in an airtight container.
Wraps are quite convenient, especially if you eat on the go. Just one dish is enough to make a complete meal, and you can consume it anywhere, any time without any fuss. Make sure the rotis used for wraps are soft and the filling inside is not watery or saucy. The dough for the roti can be made the night before to save time in the morning.
You will be surprised to know that pastas make good dabba treats! You just need to make them a little saucy so that they don’t become too dry at lunch time. The pastas can be packed in warm containers or hot packs, or you can also use a normal container. Pick quick pasta recipes that require less time and few ingredients so that it will be easy to make in the morning.
Top 10 recipes that can enjoyed in dabba
The first criterion to select a dish for your dabba is that you should like it! Pick the kind of dishes you usually enjoy eating, so you will not mind even if it is not hot.
Some offices have fridges and microwave ovens while others do not. You need to decide on your lunch accordingly. For example, if you have a fridge you can take curds along with your parathas, otherwise green chutney will be a better choice.
Plan your dabba menu the previous evening itself, so that you can buy the required ingredients and make the necessary preparations to save time in the morning.
Here are some recipes that we have tried and tested to ensure that it stays good in the dabba for at least 5 hours.
Let’s start with a sure-shot success, which will be loved by young and old alike -
1. Rajma Chawal
Followed by a yummy pasta recipe that will appeal to the younger generation.
2. Creamy Pesto Pasta
That said, there is nothing like the traditional dishes we have grown up eating, such rice and parathas!
3. Vangi Bhath
4. Jowar and Vegetable Paratha
You do not have to stick to traditional rice recipes. You can mix and match ingredients and come up with your own innovative options too. You can also try making pulao with ingredients like vermicelli or broken wheat.
5. Baby Corn and Capsicum Rice
6. Sevaiyan Pulao
Go for some scrumptious stuffed parathas or wraps, which are packed with flavourful and multi-textured fillings. These are self-contained and do not require elaborate accompaniments.
7. Masala Bhindi Wrap with Curd Dip
8. Broccoli Paratha
9. Stuffed Spinach Paratha
10. Cheese, Onion and Green Peas Pulao
Once you get out of your comfort zone and start making different varieties of foods for your dabba, you will eventually understand all the tricks of preparing and packing food. Over time, you will start coming up with your own innovative dishes by experimenting with different combinations of ingredients and spices.
Eating home food is always better than buying or ordering food from outside, which you can do once in a while for fun but not all the time. As you start exploring the world of dabba treats and realise how much variety is there, the urge to eat outside will fade and you will be totally enthusiastic about packing the dabba for yourself and others in your family! You can start with these recipes and discover many more in our website.
10 May 18
Broccoli Paratha ( Tiffin Treats) by Tarla Dalal
Your kids will not want anything to accompany this tasty dish. This unique Broccoli Paratha has the brilliant flavour of mixed herbs, chilli flakes and pepper. While the flavour is out of the world when served fresh, it fortunately stays nice in the tiffin box too for at least 4 to 5 hours. So, on s ....
28 Apr 18
Sprouted Moong Khichdi, Microwave Recipe by Tarla Dalal
Let’s try making khichdi
with an interesting twist! Here, normal moong dal is replaced with sprouted moong, and the effect is awesome.
Add to this a tongue-tickling masala of coconut, coriander seeds, spice powders etc. and you get a fabulous S ....
05 Apr 18
Rajma Chawal ( Tiffin Treats) by Tarla Dalal
A tangy preparation of rajma is combined with cooked rice to make a lip-smacking Rajma Chawal, which stays fresh in the tiffin box for at least 5 hours. It’s almost like having rice with a rajma curry to accompany it, but the best part is that it comes in a convenient one-dish package that is easy f ....
02 Oct 15
Bread Pakoda ( Tiffin Treats for Kids ) by Tarla Dalal
Bread pakoda, a unique, yummy and healthy paneer stuffing that makes these bread pakodas a perfect short break snack. Remember to pack tomato ketchup as an accompaniment.
15 Mar 18
Jain Pav Bhaji ( Mumbai Roadside Recipes ) by Tarla Dalal
Jain pav bhaji, there is something for everybody on the streets of mumbai. Those who do not eat potatoes, onions and garlic do not have to go home hungry! pav bhaji is made for jains using mashed peas and tomatoes.
24 Apr 18
Methi Thepla, Thepla Recipe Without Curds for Traveller by Tarla Dalal
Nothing like theplas to carry along on a journey. Not only are they very tasty with the superb flavour and aroma of methi, they are also satiating and convenient.
To make these theplas we have used a whole wheat flour dough with a large assortment of taste-giving ingredients ranging from green c ....
02 Oct 15
Jowar and Vegetable Paratha ( Tiffin Treats) by Tarla Dalal
Generally, people are wary of packing millet based Rotis
for lunch because they think it would harden. However, when prepared with the right mix of wheat flour and other ingredients like vegetables and spices, they remain soft and tasty f ....
02 Oct 15
Creamy Pesto Pasta ( Tiffin Treats) by Tarla Dalal
Pesto, a sauce made of nuts and herbs is made richer here by the addition of spinach, which gives it a vibrant colour, unique flavour and creamier texture too. Along with olive oil and cheese, it makes a great home for perfectly cooked fusilli. Kids are sure to enjoy this Creamy Pesto Pasta for lunc ....
02 Oct 15
Masala Corn ( Tiffin Treats) by Tarla Dalal
Um, Masala Corn, one of kids’ favourite roadside snacks! Interestingly, it can even be sent to school in their tiffin box because it remains nice and fresh for at least 4 hours. One might think that it will release water over time, but our experiments show that it is nice and tasty at lunch time. Th ....
01 Aug 17
Aloo Fry Recipe, How To Make Potato Fry by Tarla Dalal
Aloo Fry is a chatpata dry potato preparation, made with a large assortment of spice powders including tongue-tickling ones like garam masala and amchur.
It is amazing how common spice powders and an everyday veggie can result in something so tasty when used in the right proportions and cooked t ....
23 Sep 17
Vangi Bhath, Maharashtrian Rice with Baingan by Tarla Dalal
Many people enjoy exotic international foods only when they are in the mood for it. However, traditional and homely foods are always enjoyable for all of us, as they bring back happy and comfortable memories of home!
Vangi Bhath is one such traditional Mahar ....
20 Sep 14
Carrot and Moong Dal Pulao by Tarla Dalal
Perfect for hurried mornings when you want something simple yet flavourful to carry along to work, or on a tired night when you want to prepare a nutritious dinner for your family in a jiffy. With carrots and moong dal for colour, texture and good health, and assorted spices for flavour, this quick ....
12 Aug 14
Potato and Baby Corn Chapati Roll by Tarla Dalal
With soft cooked potatoes and juicy baby corn, spruced up with crunchy peanuts and exciting spices, the Potato and Baby Corn Chapati Roll is a wonderful breakfast option, full of energy to handle the busy day ahead. That said, it is also a meal that can be had on-the-go, a superb homemade alternativ ....
10 Aug 15
Cheese, Onion and Green Peas Pulao by Tarla Dalal
A unique tiffin that your kid is sure to love! Children are generally very fond of the flavour and texture of cheese, but sometimes parents find it challenging to pack cheese-based foods in the snack box as it tends to get chewy. But, this Cheese, Onion and Green Peas Pulao is a delightful option, w ....
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