I know! I had the same expression when I first heard G mention it. But then, I have had the same look of curious disbelief when I first heard about dahi ke kabab or soup dumplings. It’s just not very natural to imagine liquids or yogurt as stuffing, somehow. Of course, the trick is to use thick or hung yogurt.
On my recent India trip, I finally got to spend some time with old friends, G and C. Every year we plan to meet, but somehow it took seven years! We had a sleepover at G’s lovely apartment, a mansion really, by New York standards. And it has a balcony full of beautiful flowers!
The colors somehow reminded me of my “balcony” in New York. Okay fine, it’s a fire escape! It doesn’t have the ornamental grills or the pretty flower pots, but the green tree and the red strawberries and the iron railing do create the same color effect, no?
As expected of friends meeting after a long time, we chatted late into the night, but did manage to wake up at a reasonable hour the next morning to make some breakfast. The menu was poha, chai and yogurt or dahi sandwiches. So, while G slaved over the prepping up in the kitchen, I happily roamed around with my camera and took photos.
Occasionally, I would go admire the simmering tea or interrupt G’s cooking just because the red chilli powder and her hands looked very photogenic.
But, let’s get back to the sandwich. It’s actually a pretty simple and smart recipe. Wonder why I had never heard of it before. First, you take some thick yogurt and whisk it until it’s smooth. Next, flavor the yogurt with things like fresh cilantro, green chillies, salt, black pepper, red chilli powder, lemon juice etc. You can also add onions, capsicum, and even bhujia, for example. Feel free to experiment.
Spread out the yogurt mixture on a whole wheat or multi-grain slice of bread. Do this right before making the sandwich, otherwise the bread will become soggy.
Cover it with another slice of bread to make a sandwich. Brush the outsides with butter or ghee.
Heat a skillet or a griddle and drizzle a little butter or ghee on it. Sprinkle some brown mustard seeds (rai) on the skillet and allow them to splutter. You can also use cumin seeds, if you prefer. Place the sandwiches on the hot skillet and toast them from both sides till they turn brown. The mustard seeds will stick to the bread and give it a nice flavor and texture.
Once toasted, cut the sandwiches into smaller pieces (or not) and devour with a steaming cup of tea. The yogurt dries up a little and becomes almost like ricotta or paneer. It’s delicious!
Thanks, G for the wonderful time and a great recipe!