Its a long lost love of mine. Picnicking. As a kid we used to go on a lot of picnics outdoors. With friends, with families, with parents. Playing and making a racket, no one bothering to even give us a second look while me and my younger brother had the time of our lives being silly. Life used to be so simple! We'd usually decide the previous day or most of the times for an impromptu day out. Now, to plan a picnic, I'd probably have to inform everyone atleast 7 days in advance while people adjusted their schedules and such.
Just to revive those old times, I brought the picnic in my home. Well, alright, not the whole picnic, but the picnic food atleast. And when I think of picnic food, the one thing that stands out in my mind is sandwiches and nimbu pani or lemonade as it is also known.
These sandwiches are not just any sandwiches but fresh summer sandwiches in Indian style. Served with different garnishes that make it look more like street food than a refined restaurant meal. Its something that I'd like to call shabby chic. Although I didn't have any picnic equipment lying around in the house, not even plastic cups or paper plates when I made these, they still brought me back to my childhood days. Hope you try them out and enjoy them as much as I did. They're really simple to make. Actually nothing to it, but makes me heart swell with joy when I eat this because they make me nostalgic. So here you go....
Time taken: 20 mins
8 Slices Bread (You can substitute it for wheat or multi-grain bread)
2-3 tbsp Salted Butter
4 tbsp Mint and coriander chutney (recipe below)
2 medium red onions sliced in rings about 1/2 cm
2 red tomatoes sliced round, thinly in rings
1 large boiled potato sliced round, thinly
1 Cucumber sliced round, thinly
Rich Tomato ketchup
Nylon Sev (Pressed gram flour, fried savoury noodles, can be found in Indian stores)
Chaat masala (tangy mix of ground spices, also found in Indian stores) OR just use a little bit of salt and pepper and dry mango powder
Chopped coriander leaves
Cut the edges of the bread slices. Spread generous butter on one slice and the mint coriander chutney on the other. The bread will get a little wet because of the chutney so you have to be kind of quick with it.
Layer the veggies on it. first the cucumbers followed by onions, followed by potatoes and then tomatoes lastly.
Cover with the second slice. drizzle some ketchup over it. Sprinkle the Sev, along with the chaat masala and coriander leaves and your love et voila! Your Picnic Sandwich is done!!! Cut them into quarters and there's nothing left to do but to eat!
You can enjoy these with this yummy, healthy and the made-in-a-jiffy-sandwich with lemonade. But wait, its not just your regular lemonade, its Pineapple lemonade or as I dubbed it La Pina-lemonade!
The mint coriander chutney for this sandwich is the simplest possible version. There are many variants even to this simple chutney, and you can use this for upto a week of making it.
2 cups mint leaves, soaked in water to get rid of the grime from the leaves
2 cups coriander leaves soaked in water
1 tsp black salt
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 green chillies (not in picture)
4-5 cloves of garlic
juice from 1 lemon
Drain the mint leaves and coriander leaves and dry them on a kitchen towel. Put all the ingredients in a blender to blend into a paste. If its too runny, add 2 or 3 sides of the bread. It will soak up the extra water and make the paste smoother. Check for seasoning. You might want to add a splash of lemon juice or some salt. The black salt gives it a slightly different tang.
You could also add 1/4 cup of chopped onions before blending, 1" piece of ginger or 1/4 cup of peanuts even. Told you many variants. I actually ground everything together with a mortar and a pestle. Even more authentic! Store it in an airtight container for upto a week. Enjoy! :))