Each day in Mumbai, a group of men called Dabbawallas transport 175,000 homemade lunches from Indian homes to their family members' offices. They carry the tiffens ("lunch containers") on their heads, on bicycles, on trains and even across the tracks to get to the offices where husbands and sons of the ladies who prepared the food are awaiting lunch. Despite the various modes of transport, the lunches always arrive on time.
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India is a huge country where every state, city, and village has its own unique food, culture, and people. How do you condense it all into a 3-minute video? Watch and see.
If you read a lot of Indian novels, you'll know that people sometimes use "veg" and "nonveg" as shorthand for "tame" and "sexy," respectively. But as we ate our way across Mumbai, through Rajasthan, and into central India, we discovered that when it came to food, the opposite was true. The vegetarian fare we ate was so much better, so much fresher, and so much more interesting than the nonvegetarian offerings. Here are some highlights from a month of eating around India: chaat, pakoras, samosas, papad, and more.
In Mumbai, India, couriers called dabbawallas are the FedEx of food delivery. But instead of jets, they deliver by train, bicycle, and foot. And forget computerized routing and tracking: They use only a simple system of color codes and numbers to shuttle an estimated 175,000 or so lunches in stackable containers called dabbas: The service is at once simple and complex. A network of wallas picks up the boxes from customers’ homes or from people who cook lunches to order, then delivers the meals to a local railway station. The boxes are hand-sorted for delivery to different stations in central Mumbai, and then re-sorted and carried to their destinations. After lunch, the service reverses, and the empty boxes are delivered...