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Summer Sandwiches

It’s summer and it’s hot. Most of the food cooked for lunch is going to waste. My son who has usually has a healthy appetite is turning his nose up at anything remotely resembling a vegetable. He says, “just give me some fruit.” The official temperature had risen to 45 degrees celcius in Pune yesterday. No one really wants to eat the regular meal of chappati and subzi. I think the masalas just do not agree with system in this heat. So what should I make for lunch?Sandwiches are the best option but getting whole wheat bread has always been a problem on our side of town, not very easily available so white bread it is on most days.

Now the stuffing. Chutney gets boring, processed chicken is an option once in a while. What else can be added between the slices? There are several books written on sandwich fillings, some are good but many others impractical. Will your child or you eat beet and lauki sandwiches?

Usually sandwiches are an afterthought. Cheese and chutney are the easiest to make or procure for the filling, but if you want to make a variety of tasty sandwich fillings then a bit of planning is required.

Sandwich possibilities are endless but let’s focus on two versatile and substantial ingredients –eggs and paneer. Both are also two items that are on hand or easily procured.

Eggs – oh, let me count the ways…there are many sandwiches you can make with eggs. You can also add eggs to other sandwiches to enhance taste, make the sandwich heartier and give it protein. For example add a fried egg to a chutney sandwich.

 Other eggsamples:

-egg salad -boiled eggs -omelets -poached eggs

Egg Salad– The standard recipe uses only mayonnaise but tweak it to your taste with different herbs and spices, add different vegetables and your meal is complete. Ingredients: 8 eggs 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1/2 red onion, minced salt and pepper to taste pinch of sugar Other veggies you can add: Green Onion Dill Pickes Celery Bell Pepper-any colour Carrot-shredded Cabbage-shredded Olives-any kind Tomatoes — finely chopped


  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and boil for 3 minutes covered.  Remove from hot water after 5 minutes and let cool. Peel and chop.

  2. Combine the egg, mayonnaise, chilli powder and vegetables of your choice. Blend well with a fork so eggs are well coated with all the ingredients.

  3. Add crisp iceberg lettuce to the egg salad sandwich.

Paneer — this versatile ingredient is a boon for vegetarians. Paneer burji, sliced paneer with tomatoes and basil, paneer salad are a few appetizing fillings. Tofu can also be substituted for paneer.

Paneer Salad Ingredients ¼ kg paneer cubed finely ¼ cup finely chopped celery ¼ cup finely chopped red onion 1 tsp red chilli powder 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Dash of dried oregano Dash of sugar 2 tsp chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for one hour before serving.

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