You have to admire the Indian obsession with snacks. Snacking in this country is an art form from samosas through to the more elaborate chaat featuring all types of fabulous spices and textures.
But I found perhaps my favorite snack so far – and it’s a meal unto itself.
Behold – the Bombay Vegetable Sandwich.
Yes.. a sandwich – bread, tomatoes, cucumber, crushed potatoes (usually cooked with spices) and finally – cheese. Gourmet this is not. Hearty and comforting, that it is.
Yes, it’s a toasted sandwich.
Potatoes are boiled well in advance, and peeled prior to assembly and sometimes mashed with spices. The tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and other ingredient vegetables are cut into thin slices and stacked between two slices of white bread that have been spread with butter and spicy green chutney on the inside. The chutney is made from coriander
This sandwich is then toasted in a sandwich toaster (or in the case of roadside vendors, in toasting tongs over a portable gas stove) or as we in Australia call it, a Breville Sandwich Maker (aka jaffles).
My version came with Emmenthal cheese and the potatoes loaded up with something called “Sandwich Marsala” of spices which included cumin, fennels seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Here we had salty, crunchy, spicy, sweet and frankly, just…tasty.
The result was in my view, the Perfect Storm of a Sandwich (and it even had cheese!).