Made In India: Ghugra To Bombay Sandwich, Desi Sandwiches That Rule Our Heart
- Sushmita Sengupta
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
In India, we take our sandwiches seriously.
They say sandwiches were first made upon the instructions of an earl who happened to be very fond of gambling. In one such session, he was so engrossed that he asked his cook to fix him something that required no cutlery because he didn’t want to take his hands away from the game for too long, and this, apparently gave way to the very first ‘sandwich’, which was named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich in 1762. Of course, there are many historians who refute the theory saying that snacks similar to sandwiches have existed even before. Anyhow, it is one of the most beloved snacks around the world and the way India has adapted it, is also something worth pondering upon.
It were the Portuguese who first acquainted India to bread, the English and the French also played their part in bringing this baked good to the mainstream. It has now become such an intrinsic part of our lives that we cannot imagine a single morning without our regular sandwiches and toasts. Growing up, I thought a sandwich was simply a spicy potato mixture filled inside two slices of bread that are grilled together. This was what my mother served me for breakfast, she often packed the same for my tiffin and even took the same for picnics. It was only when I grew up a little, did I realise, that sandwiches are of many kinds, even in India. Here is an ode to some of my most favourite, intensely Indian sandwiches. Here goes:
This sandwich is so eclectic; it could also be called a chaat. No seriously. But one of the primary reasons why we adore it so much is because it is so easy to put together. A slice of bread layered with chutney, paneer, tomatoes, cucumber and chaat masalas, covered with another slice of bread, oozing with melted butter. This sandwich defines comfort like nothing else.
Hailing from Gujarat, this street-side sandwich comprises goodness of tangy pudina chutney, and a scrumptious veggie mixture of peas, carrots, capsicum and more. Seasoned with salt and pepper, this sandwich may or may not have cheese. It is a famous offering in Ahmedabad's Manek Chowk, with thousands queuing up to relish the same.
Tandoori Paneer Sandwich
This is more of North Indian sensation. A hit in places like Delhi, which loves to give a ‘Tandoori touch’ to everything in sight. (Remember the Tandoori momos?) In this sandwich, tandoori paneer tikka is tossed in a sauce made with cream or mayo, chilli sauce, capsicum etc and lined between two slices of breads, and grilled till golden. It may have more veggies too.
This has to be the most unique item on the list. But if you look at it, it is essentially a sandwich. A pav, slit from centre and filled a sweet and spicy mixture of pomegranate, peanuts, sev and coriander. Also known as Katchi Daebli or Double roti, this delish snack hails from the Kachchh region of Gujarat.
So, which of these sandwiches are you craving right now?