The glorious 'Tiffin' is a meal in its own right. And because breakfast is the most important meal of the day and all that, our menu starts good and proper with soup, starters of sorts, solid mains, and ends with a dessert. That's right, dessert for breakfast.
But before we get into the details of this very special menu, some trivia, as always.
First things first. Tiffin as in tiffin box, right? Well, yes and no.
Some theories say that it originates from the time the British first set up shop in India. Thanks to our mostly tropical (in comparison anyway) climate, much of their lifestyle had to be modified in order to acclimatise. This included eating habits.
Because of the hot days, lunch wasn’t as rich a meal as usual, and became a somewhat simplified version.
And as all new things do, this new meal needed a name. Through what must have been a rather interesting vocabulary evolution, the word ‘tiffin’ came to describe this light, early-afternoon meal.
It is believed to have come from the British slang ‘tiff’, for a spot of diluted liquor, and the act of consuming this choice bit of liquor, ‘tiffing.’ (Guess they weren't just eating in the early afternoons, then.)
This then became the word of choice to describe the lovingly packed lunches school children would carry with them, you know, one for 'short break' and the other for 'long break', in a basket, with a napkin and all. Which is where we get ‘tiffin box’ from, and it applies to everything from the slick plastic ones to the full on multi-storeyed steel ones.
( And somehow the contents of your classmate’s tiffin box always seemed more exciting than yours.)
But now, let’s quickly fast-forward into current times and return to our very own evolution of this tiffin fellow.
Our breakfast homage contains legendary dishes like the Bisi Bele Bath of the best-kind-of-baths-to-have fame, closely followed by some Mutton Paya Soup to whet (and wet) that palette, with our little twist in the form of a khaara bun.
(If you think Khaara Bun isn’t as legendary as any dish out there, well then, you clearly haven’t gone to college in South India and survived on a daily allowance of rupees ten only.)
And while we’re on the topic of breads, the menu also has what we call the ‘Iyengar Bakery’ style of Brioche. You just have to try it to believe it. We're not going to say anything to give it away.
So, we'll just move on to the staples—there's some crunchy cocktail vada, along with tapioca stuffed mini dosa rolls. But also with Gruyere Cheese and Black Forest Ham.
Keeping that possible British connection alive, we’ve thrown in some Eggs Benedict and Florentine, because what's a Sunday breakfast situation without eggs?
Only, ours are served on cute little coin parottas. Kind of like British Babu meets Baby Matthew.
(Because coin parotta is from Kerala and Baby Matthew could be anyone from there too. No? Baby Matthew Baby, then? Better?)
No South-Indian Breakfast Menu would truly be complete without something ‘appam’, so we added two of the kind—Idiyappam and just-appam. With egg roast and the classic coconut stew in three options, respectively. Full respect...ively.
Sweetening this whole entire tiffin deal, to perfect that fully-full feeling that should be synonymous with all Sundays, is our dessert in the form of Warm Banana Sajjige.
(That's pronounced sajji-gay, because it makes you go yay and that makes you happy and...you get the drift.)
Generously sprinkled with cashew praline, along with a salted caramel sauce forming the base, it's all the flavours of South Indian festivals in a dessert.
So if you're looking to start your Sunday right, and are in the mood for a solid breakfast, let our tiffin do the needful. Go take a look at everything on the menu again. Just for memory sakes. And for jolly. And for Baby Matthew Baby.
Remember, any time is a good time. But Sunday morning is best because, Sunday Morning Love You. And we don't dilute your alcohol here, so the only tiffs we'll be having will be in the form of this glorious new menu. God Promise!