One of the easy ways of including more veg in your diet is to make delicious toasties. In this recipe we make a bechamel sauce, mix in some spices and finely chopped vegetables, and make toasties with the mix either on the tawa or in a toasted sandwich maker. We like to make toasties for Sunday night dinner when we have had a hectic weekend and just want to relax without too much effort. This is a habit born from childhood when we would use the leftovers from our large Sunday lunches to make toasties on Sunday nights. They go well on a Saturday night in front of the football on TV too.
By the way, when I was writing this post I had a vigorous conversation about the difference between a jaffle, toastie, grilled sandwich and toasted sandwich. Some differentiate between a toastie and a toasted sandwich. A toastie has sealed edges and is cut in half (see my pic) and a toasted sandwich is neither sealed nor cut. Toasties are called jaffles in some parts of Australia, but not many. To me, a true jaffle is made in a round, closed sandwich-maker that is held over a flame, either a gas flame or an open fire. A grilled sandwich is a term from the US. Glad we got that all sorted.
But I want to be clear that I use the term toastie generically to mean a toasted sandwich that may or may not have sealed edges and may or may not be cut in half. Either way.
Indian Vegetable Toasties
The recipe is very general – it is a no-recipe recipe in fact – as the basic approach is very flexible.
Finely chop a selection of crunchy vegetables – onion, celery, carrots for example (see a list of suitable options below). A food processor is excellent for this step. Peas can be included after chopping, as can cubes of cooked potato.
I use the vegetables as they are, but some like to saute them first.
Make a bechamel sauce. I make a half quantity for 4 Toasties.
When the bechamel is cooked, stir in the chopped vegetables, finely chopped green chilli, finely chopped coriander leaves and a little of your favourite spice mix (I use one of these or use garam masala). You can add some grated cheddar cheese if you wish.
Butter pieces of bread on both sides (use butter or ghee). Put about 1 – 1.5 heaped Tblspn of filling on one side of a piece of bread and make a sandwich of it. Repeat for the remaining sandwiches.
Place on a heated tawa and cook until browned on one side then flip to cook the other side. Or place in a heated toasted sandwich maker or grill press and cook until toasted.
Remove to bench and cut into 2 or 4 pieces and serve. Enjoy!
choose whatever vegetables are in your fridge, for example, any of these:
celery stalks and young leaves
red, green and/or yellow capsicum
red or white onion
0.5 brussels sprout
soft herbs – parsley, basil, fennel leaves, dill, coriander, chives etc
fresh red or green chilli
a little lemon rind
Add crumbled Paneer and optional sprouts (I used Matki sprouts) to the toasted sandwich.