An Indian Bento Box?
If the Mumbai daily DNA is to be believed (and why not? It’s got absolutely ALL the gossip about Bollywood celebrities!) it’s goodbye tiffin, hello take out! “Menu is always such a problem,” my husband’s cousin Anju once told me as she described getting up each day at 5am to fill her husband’s stainless steel dhaba – lunch pail — with a selection of poli, bhaji, curry and other hot, homemade food without being repetitive. Now fashionable Mumbaikers can enjoy a Japanese-style Bento box of rice, protein and vegetables (and a Kingfisher beer!) or a “China Box” filled with chicken teriyaki or tofu long rice. Inspired by the Chinese food boxes he saw in American movies as a child, Chef Ristic Milos hopes to offer “a nice small meal that is easy to handle, one you can eat alone without having to sit at a table.” Read: one you can scarf down without leaving your desk. I’m all for freeing Anju from having to get up at 5am to fill her husband’s lunchbox. And for treating yourself occasionally to a fun, take out lunch. But I hope it doesn’t mean India’s also importing the take out culture — of eating at your desk, alone, without your colleagues, of looking on food not as social, but as fuel. A disturbing hint of things to come? “The meal contains everything you need to power you through the rest of the day,” the Milos tells DNA’s reporter.