Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

My school days were nothing short of jail time. I went to a strict girls only convent school. We weren't allowed to step outside the school gates until school was over. The nuns oversaw everything we did. Our socks had to be pulled up, hair tied back, skirt had to hit the knees - you get the picture! I had no idea a free world existed outside those walls. I accepted my destiny for the longest time, until, I finished school and headed to college.  A whole new world opened up! I had no idea you could speak your mind in the free world, laugh out loud, talk about boys and generally do as you please! Can you imagine how shocked I was. I adapted very quickly to my new found world and new found freedom, ofcourse. Some would say, too quickly.

This was my first opportunity to do as I pleased, with no one to answer to - besides my parents ofcourse, but they always got some stories from me and as innocent and trusting as they were, they believed everything I told them. (They are the best parents ever!).

I spent many hours at college, hanging out with my friends and talking incessantly. I never wanted to leave! We had opinions and ideas and big goals for the future. We had real problems to discuss and boy trouble every now and then. So outside of the many boring chemistry lectures and lab time, we spent innumerable hours chatting. Everyday!

Since we practically lived there , we had to eat there too.(in India, living in dorms or going away for college, was limited to professional colleges such as engineering or medicine. All other times, for the most part, you went to college close to home and stayed at home). Like the universal student, I was also broke! That meant food had to be street side. Now, mind you, in India street food is not comparable to the fast food you get here. Its cheap but its also usually less processed (if at all) than fast food here.
In Bombay, street side sandwich stalls are plenty. The ones near my college were one of the best in the city. They were so popular that regular folks, not just students, would stop by for a veggie sandwich or a grilled veggie sandwich (there was other food on offer at other stalls too). No matter what time of day it was, there was always a mad rush at these sandwich stalls. The sandwich guy however, always kept track of each order and never missed a beat. The regular (non-grilled) sandwich was usually my pick – it was cheap! But every so often, when I had the money, or when a friend and I would pool some funds, we would go for the large grilled veggie sandwich. Hot off the grill, cheese melting into the bread and the veggies, and the quintessential green chutney, would hit the right spot! You wash it all down with a very cold soda.
Gosh I miss those days when I could eat like this and not worry about putting on weight!

This sandwich is India's answer to a panini. It has the same principles, bread, veggies and cheese all grilled together till they infuse into one awesome grilled mass! The flavors are very Indian though. Feel free to leave out the chutney and chaat masala, for more universal appeal or to make it kid friendly! If not using either, please use salt to season the vegetables once stacked in the sandwich.


- 2 Slices of Bread per sandwich (I used Oatmeal)
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Chaat Masala to sprinkle
- 1/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Green Chutney (recipe available in this post)


- 1 medium boiled potato (I like to boil potatoes in the microwave - its the easiest and mess free way of doing it. Cut a potato in half, rinse it under cold water and put in a ziploc. Add 2-3 tbsp of water, close the ziploc and microwave for 5 mins. You can do this for upto 2-3 medium potatoes, if making more, allow more time and add a little more water)
- 1/2 Cucumber - any variety will do. I used English cucumber that doesn't need peeling. Other varieties, please peel and slice.
- 1/2 Plum Tomato
- 1/2 Green Capsicum / Bell Pepper
- 1/4 Red Onion (optional)


- Slice all the vegetables thin, especially the bell pepper and onions, if using.
- Butter both slices of bread.
- Put the green chutney on both slices as well.
- On one slice, start building the sandwich. Layer the cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper and then potatoes.
- Sprinkle some chaat masala on the potatoes. Note : However you decide to layer your sandwich, make sure you sprinkle either the chaat masala or salt on the potatoes, since thats the blandest sandwich ingredient.
- Add shredded cheese and top it with the other slice of bread.
- Grill the sandwich in a panini grill or a grill pan. I used my george foreman grill. Press it down a little to push the layers of veggies in.
- Once grilled, smear a little butter on top of the hot sandwich. Totally optional, but it creates such a yummy crust on top.

As with everything street side, enjoy with a nice cold soda. ( I really need to stop pushing these unhealthy sodas in my posts! Remember, this sandwich and soda is an occasional indulgence! Leave it out altogether - I feel so guilty right now)

I think, I'm going in a different direction with my next post. If you do try this, let me know how you liked it.


  1. What an incredible looking sandwich! I love sandwiches that are generous on the filling and this one is :D

  2. I went to Catholic school, but it definitely wasn't that strict! Even still, when I graduated, I felt like I had freedom for the first time. :) This sandwich is making me hungry--love that toasty bread!