What's a dabbawala?


'Dabba': A box, e.g. a lunch box.

'Dabbawala': A person (in Mumbai, India) who delivers home-cooked lunch boxes to office workers.

'Dabbawalas Basel': We serve fresh home-cooked vegan and vegetarian indian food.


Dabbawalas Basel is inspired by the Dabbawalas food delivery system in Mumbai, India. There, every day almost 5,000 dabbawalas deliver around 200,000 lunch boxes from mostly private kitchens to work places all over the megacity.

The boxes are transported using bicycles, trains and on foot. Each box changes hands mutiple times before it arrives at it's final destination.

The dabbawalas are organized more like a collective than a traditional company, with each worker being also an owner of the service and receiving an equal share of the profits.

Learn more here or watch the following short video.


Our Food


The idea that vegetarian food is dull and has not much to it is still a widespread convention in large parts of the world. We strive to change that - starting from Basel - by preparing authentic spicy indian meals which are rich in flavours and ingredients. There are endless ways to cook vegetables, lentils and rice with a wide variety of spices, bringing out the best flavors and fragrance of the food, which can make our mouth watery and stomach hungry. Dabbawalas stand with the idea that vegetarian and vegan food is a healthier alternative to meat and also environmentally friendly.

We pick fresh vegetables, where possible, and cook freshly every day. Freshly prepared food has a significant importance in Indian culture, wherein the food prepared in the morning is not consumed in the night.


About Gururaj Joshi


Namaste you all from Gururaj. I grew up in South India in a place called Dharwad, where I watched my grandmother and mother cook delicious vegetarian food, tirelessly for our decent sized family. Although my contribution in the kitchen was practically zero then, the images of my grandmother and mother cooking have a strong presence in my mind. They cooked with feeling, chanting Mantras, having tremendous patience and being extremely efficient at the same time. I remember my mother preparing Chapatis (Indian flatbread), rolling the dough balls to immaculate tortilla like circles and then cooking them, all in less than a minute - and I being me was competing to keep up eating hot, soft, multilayered chapatis!

I studied chemistry in India, UK and USA and can relate chemistry and cooking in a significant manner. Both require a great deal of planning, caring and executing. My cooking interest started, when I left the comfort zone of my home for studying in the UK. I realized that cooking for people is lot more fun than just for yourself, so I often invited friends over for dinner. After doing this for several years, I am now cooking in my kitchen for the people of Basel, who appreciate healthy, home-cooked vegan and vegetarian Indian food.