Monday, September 17, 2018

Sandwiches Packed - Ready for Adventure!

Sandwiches are very fancy, nowadays. Many eateries specialise in them. 

However, it is easy to make simple sandwiches and they are splendid to pack for a lunch or for overnight travel. 

All you need is: 

1. Sliced bread that is not too fresh. This is because newly baked bread will only help the sandwich get soggier and it's also harder to cut neatly. 

2. Butter or any other spread such as a green chutney, mayo, cheese spread and so on.

Steve Karg, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Condiments like salt, pepper - freshly cracked is divine - chili flakes or even some Indian masala powder such as Chaat Masala. One can even dribble some favourite Indian pickle over the filling.

Josuiván Sierra Barrera , via Wikimedia Commons

4. Filings will depend on one's religious persuasion: vegetarian or not and other such taboos. 

For the vegetarian, some options are:

a. tomato and/or cucumber
b. leftover cooked vegetables
d. baked beans
e. cheese or paneer if acceptable

Attribution: ​English Wikipedia user rebroad

For the others:

1. cooked or smoked/preserved meats
2. Egg - some vegetarians can live with eggs.
3. Deboned fish - tinned fish works well. 

 kspoddar, via Wikimedia Commons

Basic preparations:

You'd naturally need to have bread, butter, other spreads selected, condiments and the fillings at hand.

Vegetables need to be washed well if they haven't already been cleaned.

Cooked vegetables or meats need to be fairly dry. A 'curry' or gravy based dish may not be wise unless all the liquid is taken off.

Keep the butter out of the fridge to soften well in advance and that will save time and struggle.

Here are some basic sandwiches that I love to pack for a picnic:

Tomato Sandwich

Butter two slices of bread, each on the inner side only. Alternatively apply mayo or a chutney. A green chutney goes well for this sandwich. 

"Pudina Chutney" by Ramesh NG Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons 

If the bread is quite dry and the chutney firm, the sandwich will hold well. 

Season the bread with the spread with a dash of salt and pepper. Add a cheese slice if you like. Now add thinly sliced tomato - it may be wise to cut away the liquid portion with seeds. Use just enough so that there is just one layer. Season. Top with the other slice.

One can add a few thin slices of cucumber too but then the sandwich may be hard to manage.

A simple cucumber sandwich can be whipped up in much the same manner.

Egg Sandwich

These can have hard boiled eggs, omelets or scrambled eggs. For the boiled egg, it appears a tradition to use mayonnaise. 

Jason Terk, via Wikimedia Commons
The simplest is the omelette sandwich where an omelette is the filling between buttered slices of bread. This was often my lunch when I was doing my post graduation. The same works for scrambled eggs, which are basically omelettes broken up into bits. 

The boiled egg sandwich can be as simple as the other egg sandwiches above with either butter or mayo as spread. Alternatively, one makes a kind of egg salad by coarsely mashing the boiled egg with mayo and other condiments and perhaps some crunchy bits of salad greens.


Dry meat/poultry such as tandoori meats/fish or smoked preparations such as salami and ham go well in a  travel sandwich. However, in a hot climate, only choose if to be eaten within the day. Make sure the fillings are hygienic and safe to eat. 

There are all kinds of variations that you can try out but always remember:

Do not overuse fillings or the sandwich will be messy.

Finally, pack your sandwiches well with foil or cling film. Pack the packed sandwiches in a container so that they do not get crushed. Keep a lot of tissues handy to wipe greasy fingers clean. 

A flask of hot water and some tea premixes would be wonderful to wash this meal down. I wish there was a hot chocolate or Horlicks premix!

For the more adventurous, pack a few tomatoes, cucumbers, boiled eggs, a loaf of bread, butter and/or a bottle of some spread, a knife and have a blast with the makings en route!

Added baggage: a tin of tuna or baked beans to provide more occupational therapy! 

There are many ways to make and enjoy a sandwich and here's one that is wonderfully unique:

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