Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pudina (Mint) and Cucumber sandwiches

Pudina (or mint) sandwiches are perfect for a warm evening snack, or a mid-morning nosh. When the kid’s weekend class had a small Diwali get-together, we took pudina sandwiches as a starter for lunch a couple of weeks ago. They pretty much vanished!

I remember these sandwiches from warm picnics out in the park with my parents…there is a charm about sitting back, with family, and gulping down lemonade and sandwiches under the shade of a tree….

Ideally, you serve them cut into triangles, sprinkle fresh mint or chives around them to add some color to the presentation. Use a nice white or lightly flowered plate to pay them out. I believe these sandwiches may be by English sandwiches, though the Indian version has very piquant sauces and in some cases, they even use sliced potatoes instead of cucumbers! You just boil the potatoes till they are soft but sturdy enough to be cut into thin slices and place them just like you would the cucumber in the following recipe.

For the sandwich:
A loaf of white bread. White bread works best, since the mint and cucumber are delicate flavors and may clash with fancier breads
Butter
Kirby cucumbers (small)
Pudina paste ingredients (see below)

Pudina paste:
- One cup mint leaves (pudina)
- Half cup coriander leaves
- One chopped green chilli (optional, I don’t use this with kids)
- Half tea spoon of ginger paste
- Quarter cup lemon juice (you can also use tamarind juice, instead)
- Grated coconut, ¼ cup (optional, I don't usually use it but does add some body to the sauce)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, ideally crushed before being put in the blender

Grind all the above ingredients in a food processor till it’s is a consistent paste (but retain some texture.)

Preparing the cucumbers:
I have learned to slice the tip of cucumbers off, them rubbing the cut ends together. You may see a white foam emerge – that seems to get rid of the bitterness that some cucumbers have as they ripen. Cut another slice off the cucumber, and you’re ready to go!
Peel the cucumbers and slice them finely

Assembling the sandwiches:
- Spread butter on a slice of bread
- Follow with a layer of mint sauce
- Arrange 4 to 6 slices of cucumber on the slice, and sprinkle salt and pepper on the cucumber
- Butter the next slice and close the sandwich
- Trim the edges, then cut it cross-wise into 2 triangle sandwiches

2 comments:

Banu said...

I was so glad to find this recipe. I will try this out this weekend and will let you know how it turned out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Roopa,

This recipe looks easy and refreshing. Will try this for a office potluck :)