27 July 2019

Summer sanchis

In my twenties I would go with my friends on regular road trips to the southwest of England, without any level of planning at all. We'd inevitably end up in a remote caravan park for the night with no food, and at thay point Monkey would pull out a Tupperware box of sanchis and dinner was sorted. On one long trip to collect Spim from France, Piglet and I were dispatched in a van with a weekends' worth of sanchis in a bucket.

Monkey invented the sanchi, which is effectively a samosa jaffle, i.e. curried vegetables toasted between two slices of bread in the sandwich toaster. They are delicious hot or cold, and perfect picnic material. I'd not had them for a decade, but Bear is visiting and kindly resurrected our ancient wiki to unearth a rough version of the recipe, and together we put together this interpretation:
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a big pot, add a heaped spoonful or two of mustard seeds, a cinnamon stick and 3-4 cloves. Let the aromas release.
  • Add a small chopped onion and salt, let soften.
  • Add a big carrot and big potato - both cut in small dice - stir and let sweat, then stir in 1 tbsp garam masala, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, a good pinch of chilli flakes and a handful of red lentils.
  • Stir until aromas are released, then add a small can of drained sweetcorn, a handful of frozen peas and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, put on the lid and leave to cook for 10 minutes or so. It's ready when the potatoes are tender. Keep an eye on water level - you don't want it to burn, but it should be dry when finished.
  • Stir in the juice of a lemon, a very finely chopped small red onion and adjust the seasoning.
  • Use the filling to make toasted sandwiches, using cheap white supermarket bread. Butter the outside of you like it crispy and brown but it's not essential.

Serve hot or cold with appropriate condiments. We went for a Canarian green mojo sauce and - in the absence of any tamarind sauce at Waitrose - tonkatsu sauce, which was perfect.

Mojo sauce is: blitz two garlic cloves, half a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of salt, a bunch of coriander and half a cup of olive oil in a small blender. Add five tablespoons of cold water, blitzing between each spoonful to mix it in. Finish with a few teaspoons of vinegar or a good squirt of lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning.

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