About Tiffin box

Are you vegetarian? Do you live in small-town America with access to only a limited range of vegetables? Or are you simply in the mood to experiment a little with your food? If so, this is the blog for you!

Welcome to Tiffin box, your one-stop shop for all sorts of wonderful ways to cook vegetarian. And it’s all free 🙂
Why I cook:

I’m a vegetarian Indian graduate student (I Phinished!) living in the American Midwest. I love food and I miss home. There’s no “ethnic” market here to speak of, and I don’t have access to most of the vegetables and other stuff I need to cook real home-style Indian vegetarian cuisine. Which is a broad range of stuff, seeing as I am a Tamilian who grew up in Delhi. I can’t help being a foodie – I think most Delhiites are!

Eating out is really difficult, and not just because it’s expensive. It’s really hard to get good vegetarian food here. I don’t particularly like tofu and other soy forms, and a vegetarian meal often ends up being salads or barely-cooked vegetables. (Let me explain – for an Indian vegetarian, no meat (red or white), no fish, no fowl, nor fat from any of these. We do eat dairy products, and some of us eat eggs. But no chicken).

I’m married to a truly wonderful American man, and I’ve been trying to introduce him – gently – to the glories of desi (Indian) vegetarian food. I try not to eat too much junk food, and for all these reasons I like to cook.

Why I blog:

This blog is the story of my experiments with food. Some of the recipes are actual experiments (and I detail even the failures). Some of them are tried-and-true traditional recipes. Others are based off recipes given to me by my mother, sisters, aunts…and even the Other Half, who has taken to vegetarian cuisine like a duck to water!

You can browse the blog a number of different ways. You can use the search function and wander through – just scroll down for the search option. You can also click on the “recipes by ingredient” dropdown menu (bottom left), and pick whatever you like, depending on what’s in your pantry.

Why “Tiffin box”:

A tiffin box is a compartmentalized box for carrying food in. The traditional tiffin box is steel, round, and has three (or more) tiers, for easy separability of food. They pile up on top of each other and then the handles come over the top and lock everything into place. People carry food in them to work. Dabbawalas use them to take food to their customers. It also refers to the little box kids carry to school with their mid-morning meal inside.

Bon appetit!


24 thoughts on “About Tiffin box

  1. I spent a long time in India and I brought a tiffin box back with me – I’m looking forward to trying your recipes.

    Thank you!

  2. Welcome to Tiffin box, Kat. I hope you had a fun time in India, and I hope you enjoy your tiffin box and these recipes.
    Happy eating!

  3. Thanks for your words of encouragement about paneer. I am in the Midwest as well, far away from ethnic groceries. (I live in Wisconsin.)

  4. Seshu,
    Welcome to the other Tiffin box! And thank you for directing traffic to my blog. I confess I have seen your blog, found it while Googling mine, and am quite fascinated. Digital photography is dear to my heart, though I have much to learn.

  5. Hello !

    I discovered you today while I was looking for a completely different thing altogether and am glad. Looking forward to more of your experiments and discovering more of your blog soon.

  6. Pudalankaai – snake gourd; nellikkaai – alsoo known as Indian Goosberry, this is about 2 to 3cm in diameter, light green fruit used to prepare pickle as well. The tree would range from 2feet to 20 feet in height. In facat this been sold in the IndianPavements.
    it is bellieved it has sx segments outside.

  7. celery is described as a white long crispy stalk, used with salad,
    also believed to have some Greek relevance- more or less like Parseley, though they do not look alike!
    It is believed to be an anti-oxidant.

    I will try to make further enquiry

  8. Hello,
    The answer “phyllanthu emblica” sounds o.k., though I havae no other book or authoarity to confirm the correctness. Thank you very much hfor the answer.

    The word “Amla” must be a corect word in one of the Indian Llanguage, because the Green grocers sell them as “Amla”.

  9. i chanced upon your blog when i was searching for tamil equivalent for celery. the blog is very intersting. all the best,

  10. helloooo!!!!

    Im a pure vegetarian, living abroad and am finding very difficult while buying vegetables coz of the strange english names which i have not heard b4…. u r really helping me in buying different veg and keep my confidence going up…
    thanks and continue to update with still newer names with meanings in tamil….

  11. For a start you can buy the vegetables known to you, by apapearance and selecting the price either marked or enquired from the Green Grocer. Then as time goes on you will master the names.

  12. I stumbled upon this blog last month and it’s quite impressive.

    While not a vegetarian, I can and do appreciate healthy, tasty foods from other cultures. I’m a guy in his early 50’s who’s in the process of earning a degree in nursing (RN) and I have both T2 Diabetes and hypertension. I have been largely able to keep the diabetes under control through exercise and diet. Since starting my physiology classes I have become much more aware of how our food choices affect our health.

    Indian vegetarian food satisfies a number of dietary requirements:

    It’s exotic 🙂
    It’s spicy (gotta have that)
    The dishes are generally uncomplicated (I don’t have a lot of free time)
    The ingredients are readily available even in rural areas and without extensive trips to large cities or use of mail order.
    They’re healthy…the spices and flavors substitute for salt and fat.

    I also have some previous professional experience as a cook and so I’ve addes a few comments here and there.

    Keep up the good work!


    • Thanks for the encouragement, John! I’ve tried to keep the food healthy on here, although of course I just can’t, in some cases. And I’ve tried to keep them, for the most part, relatively simple and easy for those of us who live in “culinary backwaters” 🙂
      Glad you like it, and welcome.

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