April 24, 2019

Lunch options ( External) for office Goers


Let’s discuss the options for typical office goers particularly in Mumbai. One needs to plan and be aware of as healthy an option that they have for lunch. People who are lucky to get tiffin from home are blessed. But for many people it’s a daily night mare to have access and decide what to eat on a daily basis

Let’s explore the options available to common office goers in Mumbai who doesn’t carry tiffin from home. The following options are typically available:

  1. In house canteen or caterer inside the company premises.
  2. Restaurants near by
  3. Road side stalls near by.


  • We need to select the best option available among the number of dishes available. Normally a veg thali is the order of the day. 2 to 3 rotis one sabji and dal and salad. Try and avoid having rice and roti together. Ideally have roti only but if you feel like having rice do not have roti at that time. As these are complex carbohydrates and there would be difiiculty in digesting.
  • Apart from the thali, the caterer may have other options. And if Chinese is an option please avoid. The Chinese food in India is one of the unhealthiest. The orginal Chinese food is healthy in China. But then it would not be liked by most Indians. Hence in India it is not Chinese food it actually Indo Chinese food. The Chinese food here is laced with atleast 3-to 4 sauces. And sauces are loaded with sodium and the unhealthy msg. Therefore give Chinese a miss.
  • If there are options like a healthy snack at the canteen you can try those on couple of days for a change. Some canteens have continental food too where in one can try a veg clear soup and a filling vegetarian or a non vegetarian salad and may be a chaas. The continental food section may also serve a fruit salad. Ideally eat the fruits before you eat other items.

Restaurants near by

  • For vegetarians the best bet would be roti and say alu palak/paneer palak/dal palak/dal methi/alu methi and other green vegetable and followed by butter milk
  • When one has paneer methi, please note that paneer is protein; palak provides the iron and zinc, fibre etc and roti the good carbs. Similarly dal palak is a dish where it’s a two in one…dal is protien and vegegtable all in one. No need top to take a separate dal and thereby saves money too. Always as a rule, instruct the waiter to go slow on the oil in the sabji and the roti to be totally sans oil.
  • If one has Lebanese option then hummus and pita is a great protein packed dish and non oily.

Snacks at restaurants :

  • Idli is good as they are steamed but then one misses the vegetables here.
  • Dosa without oil. If there is a palak dosa with out oil or butter its ideal. Please note that idli or dosa batter is made of 2/3 rice and 1/3 rd urad dal. Therefore rice is the carb and urad dal is the protein. And if they are accompanied by a good sambhar laced with vegetables, dal and drumstick its an ideal and a balanced meal. Please ensure that your meal is a balanced meal. Typically a meal should comprise of 55pc carbohydrates, 20 pc fibre 20 protien and balance fats. Please do your own mathematics when ordering.
  • Tomato omlet is another good option as its made of dal powder and full of protein. Ideal drink to be accompanied with lunch chaas as its more of water and therefore less calories as lassi and sans sugar too. Or may be a sol kadi if available which is made of coconut milk and kokum ( konkan tamarind)
  • Ulundu dosa is a dosa made of urad dal only. Therefore it’s a power packed protein meal like tomato omlet. Also Moong dal chilla. However these are available in select restaurants at Matunga, chembur and in South Mumbai.
  • If one hasn’t eaten eggs for breakfast, ideally have couple of wheat rotis with egg curry or bhurji with some salad to compensate for the lack of veggies
  • Non veg food is best avoided during lunch to ensure one doesn’t have a heavy meal during work. If at all one has to eat non veg then chicken tandoori ( half) is the best option with green salad and chaas

 Road side stalls :

While road side stalls are the last options, some days one can’t avoid these. These stalls too would give you options like idli , dosa, eggs which are ideal..Again one needs to instruct them about going slow on the oil, butter etc. Also, try and avoid bread or pav as these are white flour and unhealthy. Besides they contain sugar, salt and vegetable oil too.


  • To have one fasting day in a week dedicated to religious act is good as it serves as a good detox. However try and avoid the kachoris, lassi, french fries which most people eat. Stick to sabudana kicdi (not sabudana vada), fruits, juices ( without sugar) , chaas dry fruits etc during the day…and one good veg thali for dinner.
  • In your office bag, carry non greasy fruits like apple, oranges and peanuts which one can eat when slightly hungry say post lunch or pre lunch. Please note that the quanity of nuts ( peanuts or other dry fruits) to eat per day is a handful only.

Pic Credit: Wiki


About Chandrakant Kotian 10 Articles
A Chartered Accountant who is currently into practice and business. Has worked in institutions like Ernst & Young, Citibank and e serve. A person with extensive views on social and current events who has been writing to various news papers like Midday and Afternoon in the letters to editor column for the last two decades. Has a blog www.writerchandra.blogspot.com Has extensive knowledge about food and restaurants in Mumbai and has done restaurant reviews for the Times of India on several occasions. Has extensive knowledge of diet and nutrition and has helped many people lose substantial weight. A fitness fanatic who has been running the marathon (full marathoner) for the last 13 years.