Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The tiffin lunch project

Husband-ji has been very stressed in the past few months with work and has totally fallen off the wagon health-wise. Now that he is back home, I have had to help him with his health and eating habits, like a good Indian wifey...

Although husband-ji is skinny and slim, he never exercises and he doesn't eat very well. He doesn't eat breakfast, and he only eats a bag of chips at work for lunch (if he makes the time!!!) His day is non-stop, until he comes home like a big grumpy bear. Or "grump ass old man", as I affectionately like to call him! Not only that, but he is a picky eater. And he has MOODS. There are only certain fruit and vegetables that he will eat at certain times. And he cannot plan ahead. Basically, his eating habits are a total nightmare.

He came back from his business trips like a total mess, having had "too much outside food" all month. So, I made my personal mission to encourage him to eat better and more regularly. With some coaxing, he agreed to work on his health and that he will take a nice lunch to work and eat it.

To make it even more Indian home-style, I got him a 2 tiered tiffin lunchbox to take to work. Then, I asked husband-ji to go online and pin some recipes to my Pinterest. He then pinned 5 million different things that I have no idea how to cook, like Radish Sambhar and Dal Makhani (which takes 9 hours to make). 

What the heck. Total DIVA pampered prince!!!

Since he has been back, I have been back in the kitchen whipping up some magical stuff - I have been trying out a lot of different basic dal recipes that husband-ji has been going crazy over. The pressure cooker - previously the insane hissing snake with rabies - has become my tamed pet snake who hisses on command!

I have been filling the tiffin box with rice and leftover dal so he can have a hearty lunch. I must say, my inlaws are seriously impressed! I have promoted my Indian wife status by one point! And husband-ji looks so cute going out the door with his little shiny lunchbox. It makes me feel good to know that he is eating his lunch and then he won't come home so grumpy.

Of course, in India, the tiffin boxes are usually 4 tiered. They will fill each box with rice, a dal/liquid, 2-3 roti, and a curry. So, I am really just a novice with our tiffin box being 2 tiered. But I am getting there!



  1. Dal makhani is quick to make if you speed soak the dal. To do it, all you have to do is put the dal in a pan of water, and bring it to a boil on the stove, boil for 5 minutes, and then turn off the stove and put a lid on the pan, and let it be for just one hour. Then pressure cook the dal for about 15-20 minutes before seasoning it in the wok as with any other dal...I kid you not it is that simple! The dal makhani actual cooking isn't long or difficult.

    Remember the speed soaking method for every beans and lentils that would otherwise need an overnight soak, because this technique works awesome, and it even helps the dal cook faster in the pressure cooker, or make them softer.

  2. Alex,

    So glad you are doing well, looks like you have husband-ji eating right. I need to do the same thing! I have really fallen off the wagon, way too long. You really are making brownie points. Well, it looks like you have everyone eating the right way. Great job.


  3. Hm... sounds familiar... Hubby's latest fancy is not eating rice in the evening and when I ask why he says "it's different" - whatever that means. I don't do his lunches though. I am impressed by your efficiency ! (Padparadscha)

    1. Actually its good not to eat rice in the evenings. Usually it is common to eat something like in indian terms "tiffin" which are also usually breakfast food like upma or idly for dinner. Since rice has lot of carbs and we dont do a lot of work at night it is good to eat light and avoid rice; Thats the idea behind it.though i love eating yogurt rice at night ;)

  4. Getting him to pin things to Pinterest is a great idea!! Rice and dal won't work for us; no meal is complete unless it contains at least one vegetable (fried things like bitter melon also don't count even though I TOTALLY HAD BITTER MELON AND ROTI FOR LUNCH IN INDIA) and preferably a nonveg item. :\ These days I make about 4-5 things and cook 2-3 times a week. I have to work it in along with a full time job and singing and Bengali study, after all :)

  5. Oh Alexandra thats awesome. I would love to do this for my husband. He is also very skinny and does the hangry thing (hungry angry) lol. But Im sure he would refuse to take a tiffin to work because it would draw too much attention to him. He doesnt like to be centre of attention and Im sure all his colleagues at work would make a fuss but perhaps I could try to persuade him. Its so much better than eating out for lunch every day.

  6. Have been a reader for a very long time now. Decided to pop in and say hi. Love your blog.

  7. Oops forgot to add, I share the same planet and have my ups and down in an intercultural marriage. Parents opposition, eloped etc etc. Married now for near twenty years and 2 kids later. Battling own demons, baggage. Learning and applying principles of forgiveness. Easier said than done. Its a constant practise. But worth it. Else the baggage can break one. Have been broken and now am mending. Check out a soul sisters blog 9aka mine:) if you get a moment from your busy life.

  8. This is such a great idea! And I laughed at your 'hissing snake with rabies' analogy!!! My thoughts exactly - the pressure cooker intimidates me! Husband-ji looks so cute with his tiffin box :-)

  9. Ha ha the return of the dabba. I also try to cook as much as possible because it is so much healthier! Someone many men are lazy about food and why don't they see the correlation between food and mood?!


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