Jun 23, 2010

Sandwich-- Traditionally Indian!

Think you know about sandwiches and all possible variations?  You might just be wrong on that one :)

I have an avid follower. Infact, one of the very few people who actually gets to sample dishes I make. My sister. An avid foodie who loves to loves to try new things but also is more comfortable with known food tastes. Over the last week she has been asking me if I knew of an interesting 'sandwich filling' recipe. I got to stop here and take a step back. 

Sandwich filling??
I mean, we all know of food which requires fiillings. Turkeys, whole chicken, patties, rolls...the list goes on. But Sandwich is not one among them. 

In India, however, it is. You 'fill up' your sandwiches-- you layer one bread with a lovely filling and top it with another bread, butter up both sides and put it in a sandwich holder. That's what a regular sandwich would mean in India. Rarely would you find meat slices-onion-lettuce-tomato-mayo-mustard drill in a sandwich. As a kid I never almost had sandwiches as I know it no. And if you wanted one, you would prolly have to go to a fancy sandwich joint! Its true. 

So sandwich was never a casual affair in our family. It was always a special dinner thing. The filling would be delicious- ground fish or lamb with raisins and cinnamons and bayleaves and a ton of spices. Usually we had it with some sort of heavy lentil soup, leaning towards the sweet end of the pallete, followed by a tomato 'chutney'. You see, even now when I make sandwiches I stick to this general idea. Minus the grease and the complication of a sandwich holder. And when I get asked for a recipe, I fumble a bit. Cos, there is a zillion different way I make these fillings. You give me an ingredient I can turn it into a lovely sandwich filling. 

Anyway, to get back to my sister's request, here is a recipe that I have made a few days back. A traditional Indian sandwich-- a gourmet one at that :)-  filled up with a mediterranean twist!

lets get right into it 


1lb of ground meat. I use super lean turkey or chicken. But this will be great with any ground meat.

1 bunch of green onion. Chopped up. 
3-4 cloves of garlic. Chopped. You can reduce the amount according to your taste preferance
1 Jalapeno. Take the seeds off and chop the rest.

1.5 tbsf ground cumin. 
1 tsp of allspice. Whole is better.
1 bay leaf
1 tbsf olive oil

A cup of chopped cilantro or Parsley 

salt and pepper to taste

All you do is saute!

Heat oil in a skillet.When oil is hot, add the ground meat. wait for at least a few minutes before moving it. You get a nice caramelization when you let the meat heat this way. Break up the meat with your spatula or watever it is that you are using to cook. Cook till its done. About 5 minutes. Add the all spice, garlic, cumin, bayleaf, jalapeno and green onion. Stir together to mix things up. About 2 mins. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the cilnatro/ parsley. Turn off heat and take the bay leaf out.

You have a terrific filling! smoky and spicy and flavors going riot. You can use it as a filling for your sandwich. Or even as a pizza topping or even over a spinach-onion salad! Its so multi faceted that you can almost invent ways to use this filling. You can even wrap it in a burrito. Would be delish :)

But what I would do is, layer it on top of a slice of wheat bread and cover it with another bread, which has a nice hummus spread over it-- lunch just got better and with such traditional Indian stroke to it

With green onion

With Kale, and Carrots

Happy eating and healthy living!


The Japanese Redneck said...

I can see it in a Pita too! Looks good, great that its so versatile.

You are a good sister to fix that for her!

Brownieville Girl said...

Really interesting.

I'd love it in a wrap.

Terrianne, Call me Ree said...

Well that's interesting, what the term 'sandwich' means in different countries. I bet this was tasty! Looks like it would be perfect for pita!

Trish said...

wow, scrumptious. I too can imagine it in a pita.

buffalodick said...

I love sandwiches, and this is a new twist on one for me...sounds great!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh like a keema sandwich love this have a fun weekend