Recipe for Apple, Peanut Butter and Cheese Sandwich
When I think of sandwich, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Bombay Sandwich. The ubiquitous ‘sandwich wala’ is a street side food vendour with a tiny table mounted on a stand with an equally tiny glass case where he keeps his fresh and boiled vegetables for the sandwich. Blue, white and red, Wibs bread packets are usually lined up on the tiny stand.
The routine is quite standard for most sandwich walas. Two slices of white bread are smeared with Amul butter on one side, and then a layer of bright green coriander mint chutney stored in a stainless steel ‘dabba’. This slice is then loaded with very thinly sliced onion, boiled potato, tomato, cucumber and possibly even boiled beet, a dash of a secret spice mix for added flavour, covered up with the other slice of bread and your veg sandwich is ready. At this stage, the sandwich wala will either make 4 cuts with his sharp knife, dividing it into 9 bite sized pieces or will place this whole thing into a buttered sandwich toaster.
The modified sandwich called the ‘sandwich toast’ is prepared by placing the veg sandwich, smeared with butter on both sides, in a handheld toaster. The sandwich toasted is placed on hot coals until the sandwich is golden and crispy on both sides. The smeared Amul butter seeps into the pores of the fresh bread, giving it that irresistible salty buttery taste. The hot toasted sandwich is further smeared with a bit of butter and green chutney. It is quite impossible to wait for this to cool down to sink your teeth into it, invariably leaving you with a burnt tongue.
When I used to work around the Fort area of VT (now called CST), a group of us would head out after finishing our lunch, stand around our favourite sandwich wala and share one of these delectable sandwiches between us. The ‘meal’ would end with a thick slice of boiled aloo sprinkled with this special sandwich masala, similar to that one extra masala puri every chaat wala in Mumbai will offer you at the end of your chaat. It’s a very Mumbai thing I suppose, to delight you that little bit extra.
After the legendary Fort sandwiches, my friend introduced me to the grilled sandwiches at Swastik (Santacruz West). These sandwiches, called Sandwizza, are a in a league of their own – large triangular slices of bread, loaded with fillings, delectable chutney and grilled to perfection. What’s more, they also sell a potent sandwich masala. The other sandwich place I have fond memories of, is Right Place, bang opposite Breach Candy Hospital. Gosh, I could just dedicate a week to writing about Mumbai sandwiches and not tire of it.
Coming to the subject of this post, some weeks ago, a conversation got started on Twitter on peanut butter sandwiches, a food blogger friend, Nikhil suggested a certain sandwich combination. It was such an appealing idea that I wanted to try it right away. The creamy peanut butter, crisp apple and salty cheddar cheese made a most delicious sandwich and toasting it with salty Amul butter, took the sandwich to a whole new level of irresistible.
I’d vote for this one as an excellent kid lunchbox sandwich, or a travel snack or even an after school snack.