Category Archives: Sandwiches

Sandwich recipes

Brinjal and Cucumber Sandwich

Another hot day…another food-sick day (instead of home-sick!) and seeing as I am well into brinjals (aubergines or eggplants) at the moment I thought I would try this recipe from Saveur.com today.

An earthy combination of fried aubergine, tea-steeped hard-boiled eggs, tahini, parsley, amba (a mango chutney/relish), and cucumber salad goes into this vegetarian sandwich, which is based on a traditional Shabbat breakfast of Iraqi Jews.

I was brought up in the Middle East for 13 years and thus have a great love of Middle Eastern food. You can honestly wake me up in the middle of the night for some home-made houmous, tabbouleh and warm Lebanese or Turkish bread…but I’ll save that for another post!

The ingredients for a Brinjal & Cucumber Sandwich:

  • The peel of 1 large red onion
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 7 tbsp. oil (vegetable)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. large brinjal/aubergine, cut crosswise into 1/4″-thick slices
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 small cucumbers, unpeeled, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, cored and finely chopped
  • The remainder of the red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tbsp. tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped and mashed into a paste with a little salt
  • 4 pitas, warmed
  • Amba (mango) chutney, for serving
  • 1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

Eggplant and Cucumber Salad Sandwich

Photo Credit: André Baranowski

Method:

1. Place tea bags and onion peel in a large saucepan with 8 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting, add eggs, and cover; let eggs steep until they’ve darkened in color, about 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large cast- iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Season eggplant with salt. Working in batches, add eggplant and cook, flipping once, until golden and very soft, 3–4 minutes. Transfer eggplant to paper towels and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, and olive oil; season cucumber salad with salt and pepper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the remaining lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and 5 tbsp. ice water. Whisk ingredients until creamy and season with salt; set tahini sauce aside.

4. To serve, slice off the top quarter of the pita breads and spread some of the tahini mixture on the inside of each pita. Put about 7 slices of eggplant into each pita along with one egg. Add some of the cucumber salad, top with some of the amba chutney, and stuff some of the parsley into each pita. Drizzle the top of each sandwich with the remaining tahini sauce.

YUM!

Tuna salad with a kick

People ask me if I ever get home-sick living in Sri Lanka….to be honest no not really. I get specific people-sick (like missing my mum, my dad and some of my best friends) and food-sick (craving for something that Sri Lanka does not have or is difficult to find – I will blog about this quite extensively in weeks to come!) but I don’t miss “my home”.

I woke up early because I was too hot and it’s been a blindingly hot day. Lovely and sunny…only I started getting food-sick at lunchtime. I was craving a salad. Something fresh, cool and crunchy to enjoy. Now there are plenty of salads available in restauarants all over Sri Lanka but I have yet to find something to rival a decent salad ordered in the UK or Holland. A side salad in most restaurants here will consist of a coleslaw-like concoction with pineapple or a some drab lettuce leaves that have seen better days topped by over-ripe tomatoes, cucumber and too much onion. There is a real gap in the market for a decent salad place, there may be some in Colombo (let me know if you know of any) but not much outside of the capital at all.

So I decided to make my own tuna salad – all the ingredients are easily available here and as an added plus my Sri Lankan friends love it too!

Tuna salad with a kick

Ingredients (to serve 2 at most…I easily gobble up the whole thing by myself):

  • 1 can of good quality tuna steak (white meat preferred – you can choose in oil or brine, personally I prefer in oil as mayonnaise is expensive in Sri Lanka and you will need less if the fish is already oily)
  • 1 medium size red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 small stick of celery (very finely chopped)
  • 1 small tomato (very finely chopped)
  • 1 large tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 green chilli (halved, de-seeded and very finely chopped – OPTIONAL)
  • half a tsp of red chilli powder (or less depending on how hot you like it or leave out all together)
  • half a tsp of black pepper
  • pinch of  salt

Method:

Drain the tuna and mix in a bowl with a fork until the fish steak is in pieces. All all the other ingredients and mix well. Chill in the fridge for an hour before using.

You can eat this as it comes on a bed of fresh lettuce leaves. Serve it as bites or canapés on crackers or toasted pitta breads. But today as I was feeling food-sick I went for the full sandwich option on fresh brown bread (which isn’t easy to find in Sri Lanka but my local supermarket sells home-made brown bread due to high demand from the expats!!). It hit the spot.

Tuna salad with a kick
Tuna salad with a kick