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Chili Garlic Sauteed Vegetables ~ Sandwich

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Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

This has to be the month of sandwiches for me. After detesting dry bread with cucumber and tomato slices, I have become a sandwich fiend with a vengeance. There is nothing better than a good sandwich made with fresh bread. Generally I do not like the bread to be slathered on with either butter or mayonnaise. Just a little to get things going and add flavour.  This sandwich filling has three of my current favourites ~ mushrooms, olive oil and a readymade chilli garlic paste which is handy to have in the fridge.

I add this paste to curries, dal, pasta sauce, vegetables and even spinach for a nice kick. It is not too spicy and yet lends a wonderful depth to the vegetables. Am sure this can be made at home, I just picked it up on a whim of my now aimless supermarket trips and am (for a change) making good use of it.

I used onions, sliced mushrooms and a little bit of bell peppers. Am sure zucchini, thin strips of carrot, and even slices of eggplant will taste terrific in this. The key is to add a lot of onions  and saute them on a medium flame till they are sweet from the caramelization, but not brown or crisp.

A box of these sauteed vegetables in the fridge will make it easy to rustle up pasta, a roti wrap or even as a vegetable side on a busy weeknight.

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Chili Garlic Sauteed Vegetables ~ Sandwich (Makes 2)

4 slices                       Bread of choice, lightly toasted

1 medium                   Onion, sliced (about 2/3 cup)

1 cup                          Vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach etc, sliced

1 tablespoon              Extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon                 Chilli garlic paste (or grind together one clove of garlic with 1 ripe red chilli)

a handful of fresh herbs such as coriander or basil

1 teaspoons               Salted butter

  • In a flat pan, heat the oil and add all the vegetables. Saute on medium heat till the vegetables have wilted and the onions are translucent(about 2 minutes).
  • Add the chilli garlic paste, salt to taste and the fresh herbs and mix well.  Continue to saute till the liquid from the vegetables has almost dried off. At this point, the onions should be a deep brown and still soft. Turn off the heat and cool.
  • On a medium hot tava, toast the bread lightly and apply the butter.
  • Place the sauteed vegetables in a thin layer, top with the other slice of bread and press down lightly. Toast for 1 minute on each side, ensuring the filling does not come out.
  • Slice diagonally and serve warm.

Note: these vegetables can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for upto 5 days to make a quick meal tossed with cooked pasta or in a wrap.


Tandoori Aloo Grilled Sandwich Recipe

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Tandoori Aloo Sandwich

Tandoori Aloo Sandwich

I was going through the motions of getting through a random day. It is getting hot in Hyderabad and my energy levels are surely going to hit severely low notes soon. I had a deadline to meet and that involved shopping for ingredients, making 3 recipes, taking pictures, writing out the recipes and sending them to my editor. It was 4:30 PM and I had to complete this task by 6PM. Yes, yes.  This is exactly where you should do the ‘eye-roll’. I wanted to make one subway style sandwich which I have already featured here with home made bread rolls, one with sauteed vegetables in olive oil and Italian spices like they serve at coffee shops and one desi style grilled on a tava sandwich with a potato filling. K really loves potatoes stuffed into sandwiches, and I had boiled a few earlier in the day, that was the loose plan.

On my way to the nearby supermarket, my namesake called and we chatted. I told her my task at hand and asked for ideas. She told me she had made this sandwich with left over tandoori aloos, made for a BBQ and it was the best sandwich ever! That fixed the deal for me! I decided to make the potatoes with the spicy/ tangy tandoori masala. Arundhati cooked the potatoes with yogurt and tandoori masala as they were originally meant for the BBQ. I used the spice mix to pan saute the potatoes.

Even if I say so myself, this sandwich turned out so good, we had it two nights in a row as dinner. The mixtures keeps well and it will be convenient to have a small stash of spiced up potatoes in the fridge for ‘food emergencies’. I don’t have a sandwich maker and grilled this sandwich old school, on a hot griddle, pressing it down with a steel plate to get it to crisp up.

Tandoori Aloo Sandwich

Tandoori Potato Sandwich (Makes 2 Sandwiches)

4 slices                        Bread of choice

2 medium                   Potatoes, boiled, peeled and roughly crumbled

1 teaspoon                 Tandoori Masala

½ teaspoon               Vegetable oil

salt to taste

1 tablespoon            Fresh Coriander leaves

2 slices                     Cheese

1 tablespoon           Table butter

1 medium                Tomato, sliced

In a pan, heat the oil and add the crumbled potatoes. Add the tandoori masala and mix well. Saute till it is well coated. Add the salt to taste, coriander leaves and remove from the heat. Cool slightly.

Toast the bread on a tava, butter the slices and place a slice of cheese on top.

Arrange the sliced tomato over the cheese evenly and put half of the potato stuffing on top. Cover with another slice of toasted bread and press down.

Toast lightly on the tava till the cheese begins to melt. Serve immediately.

Tortillas from scratch and a Magazine Feature

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I know I shouldn’t be abandoning the blog as much as I do… but that’s the pattern I seem to follow…

In august, WOW Hyderabad which is the number one local magazine of Hyderabad, did a cover feature on people from different walks of life rediscovering and enjoying the kitchen. They featured 12 people. There was an actor, a fashion designer, a hotelier etc… and your’s truly. I’ve been called a lot of things, but for the first time I was called Hyderabad’s most popular Blogger. Am not sure if I deserve those words of praise, but am humbled that this little blog got me featured in a magazine.

It was nerve wracking to pose for the picture… but I enjoyed the fun interview with a nice guy who has been reading my blog and so knew my dog by his name! Have just been plain lazy about posting this here. So now is as good a time as ever.

Its also been almost a year now that I write a bi monthly feature with recipes for a local English daily called The Hans India. I need to find the features and scan and post them in a different section of this blog I guess, now that there are so many.

On that note, I leave you with a simple recipe to make Tortillas

Tortilla Wraps

Tortilla Wraps

Tortilla Wraps (Makes 6 Tortillas)

All Purpose Flour (Maida)      11/4 Cup

Baking Powder                             ½ teaspoon

Salt                                                   to taste

Butter                                             1 tablespoon

Water (to knead the dough)

For the Filling

Lettuce                                            1 cup

Fresh Vegetable Sticks             1 cup (such as sliced avocado, red/ yellow peppers, tomato slices etc)

Cooked Shredded Chicken or cooked Paneer slices

Baked Beans                                  (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the baking powder and salt into the flour well and mix the butter to make it look like breadcrumbs. Add enough water to make a dough like chapatti. Knead it for a few minutes and leave it to rest for 20 – 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into six equal parts and roll out into rounds of about 6-7 inches. Heat a tava and lightly cook the tortilla on two sides till small brown spots appear and it is cooked. This is similar to making rotis but do not press down with the spatula or put directly onto the flame. Make all the tortillas and keep aside.

When the tortillas have cooled. Place the lettuce leaf in the middle of the tortilla, add a few vegetable sticks, few pieces of shredded chicken or Paneer and a few teaspoons of beaked beans, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll up the tortilla tight and secure with a toothpick.

Repeat till all the tortillas are used up. Serve with a fresh salad, salsa and guacamole.

Home made Cream Cheese Spread with Celery, Cumin and Chilli Flakes

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Too much milk on hand and a thick bunch of fresh celery gave me an idea. I started off making herbed cottage cheese using the milk, cumin and celery. I felt lazy and instead of draining it out and using a muslin cloth with a weight to make it into a block, I let the whey drain out in the colander. I ended up with a ricotta like texture. So voila cream cheese was born!

this is an easy recipe and can be made using whatever herbs and spices you have on hand/prefer. Use it with crackers/ breadsticks/ khakra/ vegetable crudites or as a spread for sandwiches.

Herbed and Spiced Cream Cheese Spread – Celery, Cumin and Chilli Flakes

(Makes one large cup)

1 litre milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice / vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh celery leaves chopped fine, reserve some for garnish

1 stalk celery chopped fine

1 teaspoon red chilly flakes

1/2 teaspoon cumin, lightly crushed

1 pod of garlic, peeled

In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, add the celery leaves and stalk, cumin. Reduce the heat and add the lemon juice/ vinegar and simmer for a few minutes till the milk curdles and the whey seperates.

After about 15 minutes, keep a vessel underneath a cloth lined sieve and drain out the whey water from the curds. the whey water is high in nutrients and can be used to thin out gravies/ soups/ dal etc or to knead dough for rotis. You can keep this in the fridge for a few hours till all the water is drained out.

when all the water has drained out, add the garlic pod and the ricotta to a blender and whizz till smooth and creamy.  Add a few teaspoons of the whey if needed to get a creamy consistency. Remove into a bowl, add the reserved celery leaves and red chilly flakes and salt to taste and mix thoroughly. Chill till needed.

This stays in the fridge for a couple of days if stored in an airtight container. Serve with crackers/ breadsticks or vegetable crudites. Use as a sandwich spread.

Storing Fresh Herbs

I always go overboard at grocery stores when i see exotic herbs and buy bags/ bunches of them. the herbs sit in the fridge for longer than they need to and then get  trashed because they have gone bad or wilted or blackened. This time i chopped up all the celery stalks and put the chopped pieces into an ice cube tray. Filled it with water and froze it. Removed the celery ice cubes and stored them in a ziplock bag for later use. this way the herbs retain their colour and flavour. I plan to do this with all the herbs i now buy.

Beat the Heat Series – Easy Nibbles ~ Tomato Cucumber Crostini Recipe

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While there’s hope on the horizon with the monsoons apparently on their way to my side of the world, this easy snack will make life easy if you are throwing a party or even looking for a quick evening snack, this is easy to put together. Infact this isnt so much a recipe as just an assembling job. All you need is a few slices of bread and a few other ingredients.

Easy Nibbles – makes 18 pieces

3 slices sandwich bread ( i used multi grain mediterranean bread, but anything will do) if using smaller slices, use 4 slices.

18 slices of cucumber

18 slices of tomato

a few sprigs of fresh coriander

1-2 tablespoons cheese spread

1/2 cup yogurt- cream dip (recipe below)

1/2 tablespoon tabasco sauce

for the dip

2 tablespoons yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh cream

1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce

1/2 teaspoon green chilli sauce

1 tablespoon tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon mustard sauce

add all of the above to a small bowl and whisk well. add a dash of pepper. set aside.

to assemble:

cut the slices into about 2 inch squares. toast them on low heat till golden brown and crispy. spread the cheese spread onto the toasted pieces of bread. top with one slice each of cucumber and tomato. spoon about 1/4 spoon of yogurt cream dip onto each, add a drop of tabasco sauce, garnish with a small bit of fresh coriander, serve.

Beat the Heat Series ~ A’s Quick and Easy Carrot Sandwich

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This is not much of a recipe but its a great idea for an easy and really quick sandwich to satisfy those after work hunger pangs, or even as a light dinner or breakfast option. It is also high on the veggie quotient and has no mayonnaise, and yet fakes the taste of it!! What more could you ask for? The recipe credit goes to A who I don’t know why has abandoned her cooking blog…because she has all these awesome ideas for quick and easy meals… She made this for me one evening, only because she spotted some grated carrots in my fridge….

A’s Quick and Easy Carrot Sandwich

time taken – 5-10 minutes

2 slices bread (brown preferably)

1 medium carrot grated finely

a pinch of red chilli powder or 1/4 of a finely sliced green chilli/ you can also use a little bit of tabasco or any other chili sauce

2 tablespoons thick curd (plain yogurt)

salt and pepper to taste

2 slices of tomato

a few lettuce leaves

olive oil to drizzle

toast the bread on a hot griddle / tava

mix the grated carrots with the curd, season with salt and pepper and add the chilly.

Spread the curd/ carrot spread onto a slice of bread, top with sliced tomatoes and lettuce.

Cover with the other slice of bread, Slice diagonally, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

How to Make a Club Sandwich

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Hunger pangs ride home with me on my way back from office. Sometimes making me wish, I kept a loaf of bread handy for me to dip into my cup of chai to calm the pangs. We don’t eat or stock bread too much and both K and I arent very butter and jam type of people. Amma on the other hand can have a nervous breakdown if there’s a depleting bread stock!! Not that I don’t like bread, I love it…. Especially to mop up sambhar or with some freshly scrambled egg. We somehow don’t seem to buy it as often as Amma did. When we buy a loaf, it ends up lying around a couple 0f days before it ends up as bread crumbs.

On one evening, i decided to use up some leftover bread by making myself a Club Sandwich. I had some sweet Mayo from Indiana foods in Bangalore, so this was what they call “Top Class”. This isn’t so much a recipe as much as it is an assembling method. But for whatever it is worth, here’s my restaurant style club sandwich. Its a rather large one and will be best enjoyed shared with a loved one!


Club Sandwich

3 slices bread, toasted lightly

2-3 leaves lettuce

1 firm and ripe tomato, sliced

6-7 slices cucumber

1 Tbs mayonaise (from a bottle, i got mine from Indiana Foods)

1 Tbs butter

1 egg

1 tsp oil

salt and pepper to taste

Heat a pan with oil and fry the egg on both side, adding salt and pepper to taste. divided into two halves and set aside.

Butter the toasted slices of bread. Place one  on a wooden board/ plate. Layer with lettuce leaves, tomatoe and cucumber slice, season lightly with salt and pepper and add one piece of the fried egg. Place another slice of toast on top of this and repeat the layers, adding the mayonnaise before placing the last slice of toasted bread on top. Press down gently. Slice diagonally into half. Serve with some hot tea or coffee.

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