OK folks. So if you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook, you know that I have been gone from my food life, other than the annoying number of food shots over a 3 week period in India during December and January that I just had to share on all social media accounts, naturally. I have an ungodly number of stories to tell and recipes to work on and spices to play with. I took 6 different food-related notebooks/journals there. I’m so weird, I know. And you all know by now, that these stories and recipes will take me some TIME before I get them on here. And then life will distract me and I’ll move on to…..summer.
But for now, you NEED to make these. They are the best-ever vegetarian hot grilled sandwich EVER. I went to Bombay for 2 days, and I had the sandwiches from 3 locations. My cousin made them for lunch, my other cousin ordered them in from Friendly’s the famous place where I think they originated from, and then we stopped streetside at Mithibhai College and had one, though I was quite nervous about having streetside chutney. (I did fine. No GI distress. Would have been worth it anyway).
So here’s my re-creation. You MUST make the chutney–it’s a one stop drop in a blender recipe. You should try using a denser not-too-soft white bread (it’s hard to match the bread from India). And you really ought to have the masala. If you can’t get sandwich masala in your Indian market, order it online from Amazon or from IShopIndian.com. Look for any brand…the Bombay Magic one looks promising. I use the one I bought at Friendly’s, so I am of no help to you if you don’t live in Bombay. And if you live in Bombay, I envy you. And why on earth would you make this at home anyway?? If you just must make your own masala, mix pinches of the following: cumin powder, raw mango powder, fresh ground black pepper, cinnamon, black salt, and a tiny pinch of ground cloves.
This is a prep ahead EASY entertaining recipe (please don’t fear my long recipes and bear with my recipe-writing diligence: I love to write lots of little directions on separate lines). I currently actually have everything in a little bento box thing that RabbitFoodRocks gave me, ready to go. The chutney can be made ahead and frozen if needed. It thaws well in the refrigerator or at room temp. And you can use a panini press and do 4 sliders at a time or use a griddle and do about 6 at a time. Great for entertaining!
- 2 medium-sized red potatoes
- 2 small or medium-sized beets
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- 1 white or red onion, thinly sliced crosswise in rings
- Sliced Provolone cheese or white cheddar
- Softened salted butter, such as Amul butter
- Sandwich masala or chaat masala, see note below
- One recipe cilantro chutney aka green chutney
- Slider buns
- Extra butter for grilling the sandwich
- Boil the potatoes with their skins on in salted water. This will take about 45 minutes.
- Separately boil the beets in plain water. This will take about one hour. You can also consider pressure-cooking the beets and potatoes in separate vessels to speed up the process.
- Drain the beets and potatoes and allow to cool slightly before peeling.
- Peel and slice thinly and set aside.
- In the meantime, set up the sandwich station:
- • Split the buns and spread butter on all the inside surfaces.
- • Spread about a teaspoon up to a tablespoon of the green chutney on all inside surfaces.
- • Lay a slice of cheese on a bun.
- • Follow with 2 slices tomato.
- • Then sprinkle the masala, a couple of good shakes.
- • Then lay a beet slice.
- • Then drizzle a teaspoon of the chutney again, if you wish.
- • Then lay a potato slice.
- • Lastly, and optionally, another heavy sprinkling of masala, a few good shakes.
- Then top with the matching buttered bun. Assemble a few of the sliders at a time. Don’t worry about them getting soggy; this is what the butter helps avoid.
- Preheat a Panini press or a nonstick skillet.
- Grill as per Panini maker directions, which should only take a few minutes. If using the Panini maker, you do not need to press down too hard. The idea is just to melt the cheese.
- If on a skillet, heat butter in skillet and toast the slider on both sides until cheese is melted.
- Another option is to use a toasted sandwich maker, which closes the seams of the sandwich. Use this if you are using regular square white sandwich slices.
©Shefaly Ravula/Shef’s Kitchen