Punjabi Aloo ki Sabzi (Potato Curry)

500 gms boiled potatoes cut into cubes
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of asafoetida
1 green chilli slit lengthwise (add an extra one if you prefer a spicy curry)
1 1/2 inch ginger finely grated
3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
250mls water
Fresh coriander for garnish

In a dry frying add the cumin seeds and roast on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. The seeds will begin to change colour slightly and release their aroma. Turn the heat off and cool the cumin seeds. Now crush them to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder and set aside.

In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil on a medium flame. Add the asafoetida and chilli, cooking for a couple of seconds. Now add the grated ginger and stir well making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Fry for 2-3 seconds and add the chopped tomatoes.

Fry the tomatoes on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, they will start to go mushy and soften. At this stage add the tomato puree and stir well for a further minute. Turn the heat low and add the boiled cubed potatoes, stir well coating the potatoes in the tomato gravy. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder along with the sugar and salt. Stir well and add the water. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 3-4 minutes stirring halfway through. Add a little more water if its too thick although your looking for a slightly thicker gravy rather than a watered down consistency.

Garnish with coriander and serve with puris or chapattis and some onion salad.

Bengali Kumro Chenchki (Spiced Winter Squash)

680 gms squash/ pumpkin cut into bite size chunks; cleaned with the skin left on
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaped tsp panch
2 dried mild red chillies deseeded
1 1/2 inch ginger pureed to a paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mild chilli powder
1 heaped tsp coriander powder
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
100 mls water
Fresh coriander for garnish

Heat the oil in a kadhai on a medium flame. Add the panch puran and red chillies letting them sizzle for a few seconds.

Add the ginger paste and fry for a minute making sure to stir so it does not burn. Add the chopped squash or pumpkin and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add the powdered spices, sugar and season to taste. Stir well. Add the water and simmer on a low heat with a lid on for 8 minutes.

You want the squash to cook yet hold its shape. Stir half way through and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes with the lid half over the kadhai/ pan. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with dal and luchi or puris the Bengali way.

Bengali Aloo Posto (Potatoes and Poppy Seeds)

800 gms baby potatoes peeled
60 gms poppy seeds
2 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 heaped tsp nigella seeds
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
150 mls water
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Extra chillies for garnish (optional)

Soak the poppy seeds in a bowl of hot water for 2 hours. Make sure the water covers all the poppy seeds. Using 4 tbsp of the soaking liquid add the poppy seeds to a blender and grind to a paste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the nigella seeds and green chillies. Fry for 7-8 seconds and add the peeled potatoes. Mix well and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the turmeric powder and stir well. Put the lid on and continue fry for further 5 minutes. Stir and add the poppy seed paste making sure it coats all the potato pieces. Add the water and season to taste.

Bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking. Add a pinch of sugar and a few more chillies (if you like it spicy) and simmer for 2 minutes. Add a little more water if it gets too dry.

Serve with puris or a bowl of dal and rice/ dal bhaat.

Gobi Matar ki Sabzi (Cauliflower with Peas)

360 gms cauliflower cut in florets
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2-tsp turmeric powder

For the sabzi:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
110 gms white onion coarsely grated
5 cloves of garlic ground to a paste
2 inch ginger pounded to a paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild chilli powder)
250 gms passata
2 tbsp tomato puree
85 gms frozen green peas
Salt to taste
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander

Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a baking tray with foil. Add the cauliflower to a bowl. Mix the oil with the turmeric powder and coat the cauliflower. Tip the cauliflower over the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes

In the mean while start cooking the sabzi. In a heavy bottom saucepan heat the oil on a medium flame. Add the onions. Fry for 10 minutes. As they begin to change colour and soften. Add the garlic and ginger paste stir well and cook for 1 minute.

Now add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Fry the paste and add the passata along with the tomato puree. Cook for 7-8 minutes as the oil begins to separate from the sides.

Turn the heat to low setting, season to taste. Add the baked cauliflower along with the frozen green peas. Stir well coating the pieces in the tomato gravy. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

Turn the heat off and add the garam masala along with fresh coriander. Serve with rotis and raita.

Bengali Dimer Dalna (Potato and Egg Curry)

6 boiled eggs shelled
200 gms potato boiled, peeled and cut to chunks
5 tbsp mustard or vegetable oil
2 dried kashmiri chillies
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
180 gms white onion blended to a paste
2 inch ginger roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
150 gms tomato finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
300 mls water
Handful of coriander to garnish

Add the ginger and garlic to a blender with a splash of water and blend to a smooth fine paste. Set aside.

Heat 2 tbsps of oil over a medium heat in a frying pan. Add ½ tsp turmeric powder and cook for a couple of seconds followed by the boiled eggs. As the eggs fry the skin will crisp up slightly so shake the pan and until then for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside until you make the curry.

Heat the remaining oil in a heavy bottom medium sauce pan. Add the dried chilli, cinnamon, bay leaf and cumin seeds frying for a few seconds.

Now add the onion paste and fry over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes stirring frequently.

Keralan Cabbage Thoran

For the paste;

120 gm grated fresh coconut (or desiccated coconut)
1 tsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
1 green chilli

To cook the Thoran;

3 tbsp vegetable oil
800 gm white cabbage finely shredded
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 mild dried red chilli halved
100 gms onion finely chopped
12 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp coriander for garnish roughly chopped

Add the paste ingredients to a blender with 100 mls water and blitz to a smooth fine paste. Set aside.

Heat a large heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds letting them splutter for 3-5 seconds. Add the dried chilli and follow by the chopped onions. Stir and fry for a 1minute. Now add half the curry leaves and continue to fry for 5 minutes as the onions begin to soften.

Cook the cabbage over a low heat with a lid on. Make sure to stir halfway through the cooking.

Now add the coconut paste and continue to cook for 2 minutes with a lid on. Turn the heat off and garnish with the remaining curry leaves and fresh coriander

Add the turmeric powder and stir well. Add the shredded cabbage a little at a time, season to taste and mix to coat it with the spice mix.

Lucknowi Achari Gobi

480 gms cauliflower cut to medium size florets
2 birds eye green chillies roughly chopped (add more if you prefer it spicy)
3 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
Pinch of hing
120 gms white onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 inch ginger roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander seeds coarsely ground
Salt to taste
2 tsp Amchoor/ dried mango powder
1 tbsp sugar
Coriander for garnish

Add the cumin, mustard seeds, fenugreek, fennel and nigella seeds to a mixer and grind to a coarse mix. Separately add the green chillies with a pinch of salt to a pestle and mortar and grind to a paste. Set aside. Blend the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste with a splash of water and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan over a medium flame. Add the asafoetida and the coarsely ground spice mix. Fry for 20 seconds and add the onions cook them for 12 minutes stirring well. As they begin to soften add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a minute.

Add the turmeric powder, stir well and add the cauliflower florets along with the coriander powder. Season to taste. Fry for a 2-3 minutes stirring continuously. Add 150mls water and the green chilli paste. Stir well and cook over a low heat with a lid on for 14 minutes. Stir a couple of times through the cooking.

Add amchoor powder and sugar continue cooking for a minute. Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve warm with roti, naan or pulao.

Punjabi Aloo Gobi

480 gms cauliflower cut into small florets
260 gms potatoes boiled, peeled and diced to bite size pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of hing
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1/2 inch ginger blended to a paste with a splash of water
3 green chillies slit lengthwise
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Handful of coriander for garnish finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi (optional)
1/2 inch ginger slivers for garnish

In a non stick large heavy bottom saucepan heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the hing and cumin seeds. Fry for a minute followed by the ginger paste and slit green chillies. Fry for 20 seconds and add the turmeric and coriander powder frying for a few seconds.

Add the cauliflower florets and season to taste. Stir well over a medium heat for a minute making sure the florets are coated in the spices well.

Add 50mls water and stir. Turn the heat to a low setting and cook for 15-17 minutes with a lid on. Make sure to stir halfway through cooking.

Add the boiled potatoes and mix well. Garnish with coriander, lemon juice, kasoori methi and ginger slivers. Stir well and turn the heat off keep warm with a lid on for a few minutes. Serve warm with chapattis and raita.

Mughlai Kadhai Paneer

450 gms paneer diced in bite size chunks
3 tbsp vegetable oil
120 gms white onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
400 gms tomato roughly chopped
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 heaped tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp greek yoghurt
200 mls water
2 medium size peppers diced in squares
80gms red onion diced in squares
Salt to taste
2 tbsp kasoori methi/ dried crushed fenugreek leaves
1 inch ginger juliennes
Coriander to garnish

For the Kadhai Masala:
2 dried mild kashmiri chillies
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black pepper
8 green cardamom (seeds only)

In a dry frying pan add the kadhai masala spices and heat over a low flame. Give the pan a shake every few seconds. Roast for a 2-3 minutes. Cool and grind to a coarse powder and set aside.

Add the tomatoes and tomato puree to a blender and blitz to a smooth paste.

In a heavy bottom non stick sauce pan or kadhai heat the oil over a medium flame. Add 1 tablespoon of the ground kadhai masala and fry for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry for 12 minutes. Make sure to stir well and scrap the bottom of the pan.

Add the garlic and continue to fry for a minute. Add the tomato paste and fry over a medium heat for 12-14 minutes. You want the sauce to reduce slightly and thicken. Add the kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric powder stir well for a minute.

Now turn the heat to a low setting and add the yoghurt a little at a time. Stir well continuously for 4 minutes

Turn the heat back to a medium and add the water followed by the peppers and red onion and fry for 6-7 minutes. Add another tablespoon of the kadhai masala and crushed kasoori methi. Season to taste

Add the paneer and stir well coating the paneer in the gravy. Cook for 3 minutes as the paneer begins to soften. Turn the heat off and garnish with ginger and coriander. Serve with naan and salad

Bengali Phulkopir Aloo Dalna (Cauliflower, Potatoes, and Peas)

420 gms Cauliflower florets
280 gms potato boiled and cut to chunks
60 gms frozen green peas
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of asafoetida/ hing
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
4 green cardamom pods
1 dried mild red
1 heaped tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp caster sugar
Salt to taste
100 mls water
1/4 tsp garam masala powder

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Add the asafoetida along with all the whole spices. Fry for a minute on low heat. Add the ginger paste and fry for a few seconds.

Now add the chilli powder and turmeric powder along with the cauliflower florets. Mix well and sauté the florets for 2-3 minutes.

Add the sugar, season to taste and add water. Stir well and cook with a lid on for 10 minutes. Now stir and add the potato continue cooking for 5 minutes with a lid on.

Add the green peas and simmer for a minute. Turn the heat off and add garam masala. Stir well and serve warm with paratha or rice.

Sindhi Aloo Tuk (Crash Potatoes with Chaat Masala)

500 gms boiled new potatoes with skin on
200 mls vegetable oil
Generous pinch of chaat masala
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paparika)
Fresh coriander for garnish

Mix the chaat masala, salt and chilli powder in a bowl. Set aside.

Drain the boiled potatoes. While they are still warm, using a flat spatula press lightly and flatten the potato to mash it. Make sure the potato is mostly within the skin. This will help when frying them.

Heat oil over a medium flame in a frying pan. Add the potatoes in batches and fry on each side for 10 minutes. They are already cooked but you’re looking for a crispy coating all over. This will take time, so make sure not to stir or shake the pan. As they begin to turn golden brown drain them onto some kitchen paper.

Place in a bowl and sprinkle over the spice mix. Mix well making sure to the spices coat the crisp edges. Add as much or as little as you like. (I increase quantities of the chilli powder as I prefer it tad spicy). Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve warm as a starter/ snack or even simply with some Dal and rice.

Kandhari Murgh Tikka (Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses)

850 gms skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
300 mls thick yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp gram flour/ chickpea flour
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or less if you want a mild heat)
110 mls pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Butter for basting

Add the gram flour and the yoghurt in a bowl. Mix well to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste like consistency. Gradually add the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder, molasses and pomegranate seeds along with the garam masala powder & salt.

Tip in the chicken pieces and mix well making sure to coat them well in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200c/ Gas mark 6. Thread the chicken pieces onto wooden skewers and place them on a wire rack. Roast the pieces for 7-10 minutes.

Turn them over & baste with melted butter. Put them back in the oven for 5-7 minutes until they are cooked through and slightly charred around the edges. Serve the kandhari murgh warm with roti or parathas, lemon wedges and an onion salad.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka

450 gms skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp thick yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
2 tsp chickpea flour/ gram flour
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger peeled
1 green
1 tsp mild paprika
1 green chilli
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or a little more if you’d like it spicy)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch cinnamon powder
Pinch of saffron crushed
Salt to taste
Butter for basting
1 tsp chaat masala
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salad & chutney to serve

Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli in a wet grinder and blend to a smooth paste. Mix the yoghurt with the gram flour in a bowl to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste like consistency. Add the ginger, garlic chilli paste, paprika, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Also mix in the ground cinnamon, saffron and salt. Stir well and tip in the chicken pieces and mix well making sure to coat them in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate for a few hours or even overnight if you prefer.

Soak wooden skewers in water. Preheat the grill on medium. Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and place them on a wire rack. Cook under the grill for 15-20 minutes. Turn the skewers every 5 minutes & baste with melted butter until the juices run clear and they are cooked through slightly charred around the edges.

Serve warm over roti or parathas sprinkled with chaat masala and lemon juice along with mint chutney and salad.

Kali Mirch Murgh Tikka (Indian Black Pepper Chicken)

500 gms skinless & boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces
5 cloves of garlic
1 green chili
200 gms hung yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Green peppers (optional)
Melted butter for basting

Add the garlic and chilli in a wet grinder with a splash of water & blend to a puree. In a mortar and pestle add the black and white peppercorns grind coarsely & set aside.

Add the yoghurt to a mixing bowl along with the corn flour. Mix well making sure there are no lumps. Now add the paste, ground peppercorns, cardamom powder, garam masala powder and salt. Marinate the chicken pieces in this mix for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.

Soak wooden skewers in water for 15-20 minutes this prevent them from burning. Preheat the oven to 200c. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers along with the green peppers. Brush a wire rack with a little melted butter. Place the skewers on the wire rack and cook for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred around the edge and cook all the way through. Turn the pieces half way through the cooking process and baste with butter.

To serve place the chicken on warm flat bread with a sprinkle of chaat masala, some mint chutney and onion rings.

Pasayam (South Indian Kheer)

50 gms Basmati rice
110 mls full fat milk
250 mls coconut milk
40 gms jaggery or unrefined brown sugar
5 cardamom pods; seeds only pounded to a fine powder

to serve:
2 tbsp butter
A tbsp of cashew nuts, pistachios & raisins
Pinch of saffron

In a wide heavy bottom sauce pan add the rice, full fat milk, coconut milk over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. Simmer and add the jaggery & cardamom powder. Cook for an hour stirring often scraping the bottom & sides of the pan making sure it doesn’t stick. Once the rice is cooked and the pudding is a creamy consistency turn the heat off and cover with a lid. Leave to cool slightly.

In a frying pan heat the butter and add cashew nuts and brown slightly, add the pistachios and raisins. Fry for a few seconds. Pour the fried nuts along with the butter over the Payasam & serve warm.

Grilled Cheese with Mango Chutney

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, minced
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 ripe mangoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 jalapeño, minced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of sourdough boule
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

In a medium saucepan, toast the seeds over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Coarsely crush.

In the same saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and 1 tablespoon of the ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar is slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Add the mangoes, crushed seeds and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the mixture resembles jam, 5 minutes. Scrape the chutney into a small bowl and let cool. Season with salt.

Heat a griddle over moderately low heat. In a large bowl, toss both cheeses with the jalapeño, cilantro and remaining 2 teaspoons of ginger. Season with salt and black pepper.

Brush 1 side of each bread slice with butter. Arrange 4 slices buttered side down on the griddle. Top each with one-fourth of the cheese mixture and 3 tablespoons of the chutney. Close the sandwiches and cook until golden, 3 minutes per side. Let rest for 2 minutes, then cut in half and serve.
Make Ahead

The mango-ginger chutney can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Masala Grilled Cheese

Onions – 1/4 Cups
Red Capsicum / Bell Peppers – 1/4 Cup
Green Capsicum / Bell Peppers – 1/4 Cup
Salt – 2 Pinch
Black Pepper – 2 Pinch
Red Chilli Powder – 2 Pinch
Chaat Masala – 2 Pinch
Butter – 2 Tbsp
Mozzarella Cheese – 6 Tbsp
Bread Slices – 4 Slices

Heat a pan on medium heat and add butter.

Add Onions, Red Capsicum and Green Capsicum and saute for 3 minutes.

Add Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper and Chaat Masala. Saute for 2 to 3 more minutes then keep the it aside.

Heat the same pan on low and add butter, once the butter starts to melt put a bread slice on it and move the bread around so the bread absorbs all the butter.

Top the Bread on pan with 3 tbsp Mozzarella Cheese.

Add the onion and pepper mix on the bread slice.

Cover it with another slice of bread.

Add butter on the top bread slice and flip. Move the sanwich around on the pan so that the butter spreads evenly.

Cook on low for few minutes until light golden brown.

Flip and cook the other side as well until light golden brown.
Cut diagonally and Serve!!

Mumbai Grilled Vegetable Cheese

For sandwich masala:
2 tablespoons Cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Black salt (Kala namak)
1/2 teaspoon Amchur powder (dried mango powder)

For green chutney:
1 cup Mint leaves
1 cup Cilantro or coriander leaves
2-3 Green chilies or to taste
1/4 inch Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Black salt (Kala namak)
1/2 teaspoon Chaat masala
1 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice

For grilled sandwich recipe:
12 slices Bread
Butter as required
2 small Potatoes boiled and sliced
1 medium Cucumber sliced
1 medium Onion sliced
1/2 medium Capsicum (Green bell pepper) sliced
2 small Tomato sliced
1 cup Cheese grated (optional

Making sandwich masala:

Dry roast the whole spices for masala on medium-low heat with stirring constantly.

As you get the nice aroma of the roasted spices, turn off the stove and remove it to plate to cool completely.

Once cooled take into the grinder jar along with black salt and amchur powder and make into fine powder. Keep it aside.

Making chutney:

Take all the chutney ingredients in the grinder along with very little water and make smooth puree.

Remove it to a bowl and keep it aside.

Making veg grilled sandwich recipe:

Keep all the veggies, cheese, chutney, bread, butter and sandwich masala ready before start assembling it.

Heat the grill pan on medium heat. While it is heating assemble the sandwich.

take 3 bread slices for one sandwich. Spread butter and chutney on each slices.

Now place the vegetables in this order: potato, cucumber, onion, second bread slice, capsicum, tomato, cheese. Don’t forget to sprinkle sandwich masala on each and every vegetable layer.

Lastly close with last bread slice, chutney side down.
Place the sandwich carefully on the grill pan or machine and grill till it is crispy and golden brown.

Then flip and grill other side as well. If using machine then no need to flip as it grills both sides at the same time.
Remove it to a plate and slice into half serve.

Repeat the same for rest sandwiches.

Mumbai Grilled Chilli Cheese

4 slices of soft white bread
2 tbsp softened butter
70gms cheddar cheese coarsely grated (for a gooey sandwich Swiss gruyere would be a good alternative)
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes sliced
3 green chillies finely chopped (or less if you prefer it mild)

The spice masala mix, an equal pinch of:
cumin powder
ground cinnamon
dry mango powder
black pepper
salt

For the green chutney;
200gms of mint leaves
100gms of coriander
juice of half a lemon
1 green chilli
1/2 red onion
1/2 inch piece of ginger
Pinch of salt & sugar

Blend all the ingredients for the green chutney with a little water and set aside. Pile all the slices of bread together and trim off the edges. Make sure you don’t take all the crust off; just even out the edges.

Place the slices over a flat plate and apply butter. Now spread the green chutney on evenly and top with the sliced red onion followed by a sprinkle of the spice masala mix. Add the tomato with a little more of the spice masala mix and finally the chopped chillies. Add the cheese and close each sandwich pressing down lightly.

If there is any leftover butter spread on the outer side of the sandwich. Place in a toasted sandwich maker until crisp and light brown. Cut into four and serve warm with extra chutney and ketchup.

Semiya Pasayam (Vermicelli Kheer)

4 cups milk divided (3 cups + 1 cup)
1 cup vermicelli (semiya)
1 cup water
6 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp condensed milk
1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter), divided
10 cashews broken
10 almonds sliced
10 golden raisins
10 pistachios sliced

Boil milk in a saucepan and keep it aside.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee in a pan. Once it is hot, fry the cashews, almonds, pistachios & raisins separately, until they all turn golden brown. Remove them from the pan and keep it aside.

In the same pan add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon ghee. Fry the vermicelli until it starts changing its color and becomes slightly golden. (This step can be skipped if using roasted vermicelli).

Then add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of boiled milk to the pan. Frequently stir the mixture else the milk will burn at the bottom.

Keep adding milk progressively as and when the mixture thickens. Add about 1-1/2 cup milk, and cook the vermicelli until it becomes soft.

Once the vermicelli gets cooked, add the condensed milk and sugar. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and keep it on the stove for few more minutes until the sugar dissolves.

Turn off the stove and add cashews, almonds, raisins, and pistachios. This thickens on cooling. Keep an extra cup of boiled milk at hand. So if you are serving later & it thickens, you can add some more milk (according to your consistency preference) and serve.

Recipe Notes
You can get readymade roasted vermicelli in Indian grocery stores. Use them for convenience.

Condensed milk is completely optional. It helps in thickening the base and therefore a rich taste.

You can adjust the sugar amount based on your sweet preference. When using condensed milk, be extra careful as it has some sugar.

This can be served chilled or at room temperature or even warm.
The amount of milk depends on one’s preferred consistency. Payasam can be drunk from a glass or spooned. The amount mentioned above yields a thick creamy dessert. You can thin it more by adding extra boiled milk. The consistency is of medium thickness and is thinner than rice pudding