Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Toasted Sandwiches with Cabbage Bhaji

Toasted sandwiches with Cabbage Bhaji served with mint chutney and tomato ketchup

The kind of guessing games we food-bloggers have for each other remind me of Navratri during my childhood. Back in those days in Pune, Dandiya was nearly non-existent for us Maharashtrians. What we as little girls would celebrate was 'Bhondla/Hadga'. During those nine days, each one of us would host it one evening in the garden or on the terrace of our houses. There used to be an elephant drawn either with Rangoli on the soil or with a chalk on a slate in the middle, and we girls used to go around it in a circle, holding each other's hands and singing the Bhondla songs. All the Bhondla songs were traditional, innocent songs passed down the generations. Many of them were funny too.
There used to be a set of roughly ten songs, with a particular song, which was always sung in the end. This song used to end with the words '...khiraapatila kaay ga?' (meaning 'What's for Prashaad?/What is the special dish today?) Now, this is where the food part comes in. This 'Khiraapat' used to be a special dish often made laboriously by the mother of the host girl. Sometimes, it used to be several dishes. The rest of the girls had to guess that dish/those dishes, until which the food would not be served. Our mothers too - very sweet of them - used to come up with rare dishes or combinations, which used to be difficult to guess. I still remember us begging to the host girl to tell us the name of the dish after about half an hour of futile guessing and salivating mouths. However, I used to enjoy it the most when I was the hostess, and I used to so test the girls' patience. (Wicked me!) Those were fun days.

I rarely hear any young girls talking about Bhondla these days. I wonder how many of them even know about it. Are the days of innocent fun gone then? Is it only something like 'Jhankaar Beats Dandiya Nite' that interests them now-a-days?

Anyway, let's come back to our little guessing game with Cabbage Bhaji. All of you were great, I must say. I love the enthusiasm with which you went about guessing the end product. All of you were correct in guessing one important thing : That I used the Bhaji as a filling/stuffing for something. Well, as you must have already noticed, I used it as a filling for toasted sandwiches. Here is how I made them.

Recipe for Toasted Sandwiches with Cabbage Bhaji

Makes 8 sandwiches.


1 recipe Cabbage Bhaji
16 bread slices (I used some white and some wholewheat bread slices.)
Butter for brushing the outer surfaces of the bread

Cabbage Bhaji and bread slices

1. Remove and discard the chilli pieces from the Bhaji, if you don't want them in your sandwiches.
2. Divide the Bhaji into 8 portions and fill it into the bread slices to make 8 sandwiches.
3. Brush some butter on the outer surfaces of the sandwiches.
4. Toast the sandwiches in a Sandwich Toaster until golden brown. (Normally, the Sandwich Toaster takes care of this part.)


Serve these sandwiches hot with any relish/chutney (e.g. mint and coriader chutney) or tomato ketchup. They are perfect for those evenings, when you crave for something 'snacky', but don't want to go for any fried/fatty stuff like burgers or cutlets.

At my parents' place, the Sandwich Toaster used to come out whenever my father used to be away on tour. Us three ladies - my mother, my younger sister and I - would then have such 'harmless junk food' for days together. Sigh, those were the days...

Anyway, let me just come out of that nostalgia mood and send this recipe over to Cate for her ARF/5-a-day Tuesday event. Off to Sweetnicks.


Nandan said...

Looks good. Will surely try it out.

Sumitha said...

Oh Sandwiches!!! Wonder why i didnt guess that one!The sandwiches look yum.Wish I could take a bite!Whenever it comes for a sandwich filling I think of only potatoes,now I have another nice option,Thanks Vaish!

Luv2cook said...

Hey Vaishali:

Never heard about Bhondla songs but sounds like so much fun! The sandwiches look yummy. I do the same with aloo bhaji sometimes!

Vineela said...

Hi Vaishali,
Nice sandwich with minty and tomato sauce.yummy.

Neelu said...

Bhondla :) Yes i enjoyed those days too...It was soo much fun then. I remeber this song "shri kanta kamal kanta asa kasa zhala majhya nashibi ala, vedya chya aaini kele hote ladu, ...." Only these words....would apprecitae if you can complete it :). Do u remember any other songs ?

Anonymous said...

There was one I think that also fell into the Bhondla category, but I could be so wrong. It goes "Ailama Pailama ganesha deva..." cannot remember the rest

Vaishali said...

Nandan, you'll like it. It's worth trying out.

Sumitha, wait, I'll heat up the sandwiches...ok, now take a bite. :)

L2C, I still remember most of those songs. I often sing them to my daughter.

Vineela, I am getting addicted to your sweet comments. :)

Neelu, do you really want me to complete this song here? It is rahter long. Call me up, and I'll sing it for you. In the meanwhile, visit this link for some more Bhondla songs.

Neela, yes, 'Ailama pailama' is also a Bhondla song. Hey, it's great to see so many people around with similar backgrounds.

Anonymous said...

Vaishali, thanks for responding back and for the link. I will definitely look it up. Growing up in Mumbai I had the opportunity to go to 2 Bhondla events and that's where I remember hearing these songs. I am sure moms of our generation would know them even now.

Ashwini said...

Oh yes I miss bhondla. I participated in one in guess where? Calcutta...people away from home cling to traditions the most (as can be seen in our example too). I use bhaji for the same kind of toasts. They are yummy arent they?
PS - tagged you for a meme

Rajesh &Shankari said...

Mouthwatering pic and I sure it tastes the same too. Yeah a lot of festivities have been cut shot and half the fun is gone!

Revathi said...

Hi Vaishali

Have u tagged for a meme :

Krithika said...

I love this sandwich maker. I remember my mother had a hand-held sandwich maker which you place on the burner. Nice recipe

Anonymous said...

Yummy looking sandwiches!!

Vaishali said...

Neela, songs learnt as a child are difficult to forget, aren't they?

Ashwini, Bhondla in Cal? Now that's something. And hey, thanks for tagging me for the meme.

Shankari, I agree with you fully. This homogenisation of cultures is not so great really.

Thanks for double-tagging me, Revathi.

Krithika, I remember having seen my friends' mothers using those hand-held sandwich makers. Hey, but they were time-consuming. You could make only one sandwich at a time. Our mothers had patience, didn't they?

Thanks, Sailu. Maybe you can make them using some fresh veggies from your farm.

Mistress of Confusion said...

Man... I do this with any bhaji I come across :) YUM. I love starch (I just ate Alu Mattar in a toasted sandwich.)

Unknown said...

Serched for hadga gani and found this!
Our daughter's first Bhondla - Oct 13th 2007! We live in the US (Detroit,MI) and my aai (mom) sent us all the scanned, hand written, hadga songs, we are very excited! More than 15 girls coming over for the Bhondla, it will be fun!
Thanks for the sandwiches!
If anybody is interested in the songs let me know.
A proud dad

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summermobile said...

I rarely hear any young girls talking about Bhondla these days. I wonder how many of them even know about it.

Unknown said...

There used to be a set of roughly ten songs, with a particular song, which was always sung in the end. This song used to end with the words '...khiraapatila kaay ga?' (meaning 'What's for Prashaad?/What is the special dish today?) Now, this is where the food part comes in. This 'Khiraapat' used to be a special dish often made laboriously by the mother of the host girl.

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