Nothing compares with home-cooked food

Tiffin trouble

Every year, lots of students head for the National Capital from places across India, to pursue higher studies in the city’s reputed colleges. Not everyone is lucky to have an extended family that offers accommodation, and most students either find lodgings as paying guests or rent a flat/room which are shared by three or more.

Alone in a big city and left to fend for themselves for basic necessities, most importantly for daily meals, finding a good dhaba/eatery offering healthy, wholesome food, on a regular basis, can be a difficult task. So, how do these youngsters manage theirs? Do they skip meals and grab a bite at the college/office canteen, order a pizza or sandwiches, eat the oily chhole-bhature at the neighbourhood dhaba or cook themselves? Metrolife spoke to a cross-section of students and young professionals who put up in PGs to learn more about their food preferences and how they fare in the city.

“One of the things I learned after coming to college was that no matter how much you crave fast food when you’re living at home with your parents, your mom was right when she used to say that nobody could live eating that kind of food for a long time,” says Disha Dinesh, a first year journalism student.But when you’re living alone, and have no one to cook for you, what other options does one consider?

“I mostly prefer the local dhabas and small north Indian food outlets. A good tiffin service is hard to find. And when I get tired of the dhabas, I prefer to go to Dominos, because their food is tasty and fresh,” she adds.

“Dhabha food is definitely the best. Good tiffin services are rare here, so I don’t consider that a viable option. Tadka Arhar Dal and Aloo-Gobhi are two of my staple options. Apart from this, I make sure I drink juice, eat boiled vegetables once a day, so that I can keep going. Fats make you feel full; they don’t give you proper energy. I also like Subway a lot. That is one fast food outlet that offers affordable, healthy and fresh food,” Yash Chansoria tells Metrolife.

Animesh talks about the problem that he and his friends face with Tiffinwallahs.“You will always have a problem with their quantity and quality. On days when they make good dishes like Shahi Paneer or the sorts, they lessen the quantity. With normal dishes that’s not a problem, but the food is repetitive. Plus, they charge 70-80 bucks for one meal and that’s a lot when you have to deal with other expenses too.”
Apart from dhabas, many students have also considered the option of hiring cooks
for wholesome home cooked meals.

Kushagra Tandon, an IP University student says, “Though dhabas are convenient and cheap; they aren’t very healthy. My flatmates and I are considering hiring a cook now. Nothing compares with healthy, home cooked food.”Kuber Sharma, another student, who came all the way from Saharanpur to pursue graduation in this city, talks about his experience with fast food. 

“For a year, I lived on food from outlets like McDonalds, Dominos, Pizza Hut and occasionally dhabas. At the end of it, I really got sick. I suffered from food poisoning and had to stay in the hospital for a week. I’ve now hired a cook, at a nominal fee per month, who prepares healthy meals for me and my flatmate. We do all the grocery shopping ourselves and choose the dishes we want to eat.”Truly said, there is nothing to beat the delicious “ghar ka khana, prepared with dollops of love and care.”

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