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Every Monday, eight kids from the village behind my residence come to me for cooking lessons. They’re this amazingly enthusiastic, wonderful bunch of 12 to 15-year-old girls and boys whom I’ve been teaching now for more than a year. And while I do love teaching them, it’s a real struggle to come up with new stuff every week that they can make in the limited space of my kitchen. Also, vegetarian food….
Many of the kids don’t eat meat or eggs and as with most children and many adults, they have tons of issues with most vegetables including capsicum, beetroot etc. Some don’t like cheese, some don’t like bananas and the list goes on and on. Heaven help! Also my repertoire of Indian vegetarian food is zilch! Or was, until this lovely bunch came into my life. Now, not only am I teaching them, but am learning so much and so many new things myself, that’s it’s positively illuminating!
Lately we’ve been making and perfecting lots of Indian street foods – vegetable momos, samosas, paranthas, sandwiches, burgers, vada pavs, pakodas and what not. All the stuff whose ingredients are easily available in their homes. This week, we made coleslaw sandwiches. This is one thing I would never never have made on my own, because…… cabbage and carrot in a sandwich!!! Who does that? And whaddya know, they were awesome! Just shows one should kick out their preconceived notions and try new things every once in a while. Might get pleasantly surprised.
The sandwiches were a big hit with the kids (even with the green capsicum), and an even bigger hit with my household, who got to eat the extras. If 12 year old kids wolf down cabbage and capsicum without complaining, I consider that a win. And so I thought, why not share it with the world?
Making the sandwiches was a breeze. Photographing them? Nightmare! Maybe since I’m an amateur, my photography skills aren’t the best and places to photograph are very limited, but sandwiches have got to be one of THE WORST things to make look sexy. Ugh! That’s my disclaimer here. But anyway, don’t go by the picture, go by the glowing references I’ve made above. Try it and you will be surprised. Eat them crisp. If they’ve been hanging around for a while and become soggy, just heat them on a pan again for a bit. Okay then, here you go.
Ingredients (makes 6 sandwiches)
400 gms thick yoghurt hung in muslin cloth for 1 hour
1 heaped tsp garlic paste
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
½ cabbage chopped finely
2 medium carrots, grated (not too fine)
½ green capsicum chopped finely
½ small onion diced finely
1 green chilly with seeds chopped very finely
12 slices of bread (Any except sourdough)*
Butter for all the slices
*Do not use sourdough bread as the yoghurt dressing already has a tangy flavour so it will become too tart.
Get Started (pictorial steps below)
- Soak the chopped cabbage in salt water for about 15 minutes. Then drain the salt water and rinse well with fresh water. Drain and pat the cabbage dry with clean tea towels or absorbent paper. This will get rid of any organisms that could be lurking in the folds of leafy green vegetables. We do this with lettuce too.
- Mix all the ingredients under “dressing” together and set aside for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- In a large bowl, put all the ingredients under “filling” then add the dressing to it and mix really well. You will need to add at least ¾ teaspoon more salt here and maybe a bit more pepper. Do not skimp on the salt, because when you put it in the bread, the sandwich will taste bland.
- Place a generous amount of the filling on one slice of bread and top with the other. Then butter the two outer sides of the sandwich in a thin layer but covering every part. Place the sandwich on a pan on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes till the underside is golden and deliciously crisp. Then flip it over and repeat for 3 minutes. Keep an eye on the heat; you don’t want the bread to burn and turn black. I didn’t cut the crusts off my bread. You can do so if you want.
- Do this with all the sandwiches and serve immediately.
- You can have the sandwich on its own or pair it with a green chutney (mint or coriander or both) or with ketchup.
Important notes: Do not hang the yoghurt for more than an hour. It will become too dry. If using double the amount of yoghurt, say 800 gms, then hang for 1.5 hours.
Chop everything finely. You do not want big chunks of anything in your mouth.
Use any bread you want but regular white bread will taste the best!