So many meanings assigned to one word! A tiffin is a light meal, a box to carry said light meal, even a town in Ohio! But for us it means just one thing…delicious!
The word got its start with British rule in India in the late 18th century. Common English food was not going to make it in the languid heat of the sub-continent which forced the midday meal to become lighter. There may have also been a “not-quite-tee-totaling aspect to it as the word is a combination of the slang words “tiff,” a tot of liquor, and “tiffing,” to take a sip of this liquor. Perhaps some of these lunches were of the liquid variety!
This morphed into a whole industry of people known as “wallahs” who carry “tiffins” to and from homes and offices in Bombay and Mumbai. (This next part is pasted from theguardian.com)
Every weekday without fail something rather extraordinary is to be seen around midday on the chaotic streets of Bombay (or Mumbai). This is the sight of hundreds of stainless steel tiered tiffin boxes or dhabbas piled high on handcarts and bicycles being pushed through the streets by dhoti-wearing, white-capped tiffin wallahs.
Expertly run by the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers' Association, armies of these tiffin wallahs provide the invaluable daily service of speedily delivering piping hot home-cooked lunches to more than 200,000 busy office workers.
Many workers live 50 kilometres or more from their workplace, a long commute on a packed train. There is certainly not time for the cook of the house to prepare a full meal before they leave home. So the lunch-filled tiffin boxes are picked up later in the morning, colour-coded and transported to the station, where they are collected by the tiffin wallahs, whose mission is to deliver each box to its corresponding workplace still hot from the pan – and to return the empty tiffin to the home before the end of the working day. With the essential core values of punctuality, teamwork, honesty and sincerity providing the backbone to the business, they have a staggering 99.99% success rate.
The tiffin wallahs have become so revered that they are now called on to lecture to big businesses, and have been honored guests at British royal weddings. They are considered so trustworthy that workers often place their wages inside the clean tiffin box on its return journey rather than risk carrying money on the commuter train.
It was on this model that your favorite Indian eatery got its start as an online ordering and delivery service, carrying meals to hungry Philadelphians.
Michele Marie ★★★★★
"Had dinner this evening party of 9, wonderful service, our waitress was great, and most delicious food! We all had different appetizers as well as entrees all were outstanding, the naan was so delicious! We can’t wait to go back this is great for Newtown Square."
Milton Dixon ★★★★★
You should come and have the real Indian cuisine taste experience. No words enough to describe that. Just go and experience it yourself. It's finger licking good.
Marno Perez ★★★★★
Nice and cozy place with good authentic Indian food. Freshly served and always hot. Thumbs up. I enjoyed having dinner at your place.
Christian Dick ★★★★★
We are very excited to have a Tiffin again close to us. Since moving to Swarthmore from Center City we missed great Indian cuisine. We went yesterday and had a great lunch, so good in fact that we are returning today ;-)