Try this vibrant herb chutney sandwich, layered with crunchy fresh veggies and grilled to perfection and you’ll see why it’s such an iconic snack in India and one of Mumbai’s favorite street foods.
A green chutney sandwich in India is the equivalent of the American PB & J. It’s the unassuming tea-time staple, the quick finger sandwich you slap together and offer to unannounced guests along with a pipping hot cup of chai. It’s the sandwich of choice for road trips, breakfast, school lunch boxes and a quick after-work street snack before your commute home. There isn’t a person in India or who grew up there that I know of, that hasn’t had or known some form of a green chutney sandwich.
Green chutney: is essentially like a pesto of sorts of cilantro (coriander leaves) and mint is a staple condiment in a lot of homes.There are a lot of different versions of green chutney and almost every house makes it differently. I make it the way my mom always did with a little grated coconut for body & texture and a small slice of ginger. Some people use a slice of bread instead of the coconut while some omit it all together. Some people like it spicy and add extra green chili peppers and some leave out the ginger. Any way you make it…it’s yummy and great condiment to have in your fridge not just for sandwiches. It’s often eaten as a dipping sauce for samosa’s, fried snacks, dosas, idlis, kebabs etc. or as a meal accompaniment, like pickle.
A lot of times, a green chutney sandwich is made as simple as sliced soft white bread (none of that fancy multi-grained or whole wheat!), salted butter and green chutney. That’s it. It’s not grilled or fancied up. And almost always the crust is cut off (don’t ask me why!). Sometimes, a layer of thin sliced cucumber is added for extra crunch. You don’t need much else.
Then there’s the Bombay Sandwich…the fancied up version with a wide variety of vegetables that builds layers flavor. Often in the mix of vegetables you’ll see…thinly sliced potatoes, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, onion and even beets. If you want to get even fancier, it’s topped off with grated cheese and smothered in salty butter and grilled to crispy perfection. It is then sometimes served with even more grated cheese on top of the grilled sandwich and served up with ketchup, which makes a great sidekick to this sandwich. You just got to trust me on this. The flavors of this iconic sandwich will kick your boring old grilled cheese deal to the curb and you’ll never go back!
- 1 Cup Cilantro
- 1/2 Cup Mint Leaves
- 1 slice fresh Ginger
- 1 Thai chili (or small piece of jalapeno)
- 2-3 Tbsp fresh/frozen grated Coconut
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt to taste
- Water, as needed to blend
- Soft White Bread
- Butter/ margarine
- Green Chutney
- Boiled potato, thinly sliced
- Tomato, thinly sliced
- Cucumber, thinly sliced
- Bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Cheese, grated (optional. leave out for vegan sandwich)
- Chat Masala powder
- Ketchup (to serve it with)
- - Prepare the green chutney by blending/ pulsing all the ingredients listed above in a food processor or blender until it resembles something like a fine pesto.
- - To assemble the sandwiches: Start with 2 slices of soft white bread and spread a layer of butter (margarine for vegan version) on both sides of each slice.
- - Generously spread the green chutney on one side of each slice.
- - Then layer one of the bread with sliced potatoes, sprinkle with salt (or chat masala), then arrange the sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and top with grated cheese (optional- leave out for vegan version) and top with the second slice of bread
- - Toast in Panini press or similarly until the sandwich is is golden brown and get grill marks. Cut and serve with side ketchup and extra chutney and if desired.