This recipe is so easy and quick, that quite frankly I’m embarrassed to be calling it a recipe at all. Be warned, a 5-minute masala sandwich can be utterly addictive and completely deceiving in its simplicity!
The toasted bread, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, combined with crisp cucumber, ripe tomato, sharp raw onions, and the unmistakable tangy spicy taste of chaat masala….I’m drooling already, and I may have eaten one (or four) while writing this.
Plus, as an added bonus, 5-minute masala sandwiches are vegan!
You can mix up the veggies in this sandwich, although trust me, this is pretty much the perfect combination. What is completely 100% necessary and can’t be swapped out, is the chaat masala.
For those of you not familiar with it, chaat masala is a mix of ground spices including dried mango powder, cumin, cilantro, ginger, black salt, black pepper, and chili.
In India, it’s used to top everything from salads to snacks to sandwiches, and even fruit! It can be bought at pretty much any Asian or Indian specialty shop, or ordered online, it’s quite cheap, and you only need a little bit at a time. A bag or box of it will last for ages.
You can also use it to make these other delicious Indian snacks, ready in five minutes or less:
This sandwich is similar to Bombay masala sandwich, but without the green chutney and cooked potato.
It is a particular sandwich I became a fan of after giving birth to my second child in Bangalore, as it was a specialty of the hospital café.
After we moved to Madrid, I couldn’t stop thinking about that darn sandwich. Man, I miss India and the amazing food there!
We often find ourselves hankering for Indian food. Not the rich restaurant versions, but the tasty lighter homemade dishes. We’re all pretty addicted to these sandwiches and often have them along with kachumber salad and shorba for a light lunch or dinner. Not an authentic combination, but hey it makes sense to us!
How to make it
It’s a fairly self-explanatory recipe but just in case you have any doubts I’ve laid out the instructions here for your new favourite masala sandwich, along with photos to help guide you.
Take two slices of white bread and butter them on one side with vegan butter or dairy-free margarine (if you’re not vegan you can of course just use softened butter).
Peel and thinly slice the cucumber and layer across one slice. The smaller Persian or baby cucumbers are ideal for this but regular cucumbers are fine too. If you use a normal large one, you may want to cut it in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, but I just leave them in.
Next thinly slice a nice firm tomato and cut the slices in half and arrange on top of the cucumber. You don’t need to deseed the tomato but if some seeds fall out, well no problem.
I cut the slices in half because otherwise when you bite into the sandwich, the skin of the tomatoes can pull out all of the slice. Next, add some thinly sliced onion on top. I normally chop the onion slices in half or thirds, but you do you.
Take a quarter teaspoon of the chaat masala and sprinkle evenly over the vegetables. Top with the other buttered slice of bread and press down lightly with your hand. You don’t want to squish the bread but flattening the sandwich somewhat will help keep the filling in.
Grill or toast on medium heat until golden on each side, being careful when flipping the sandwich that the two halves don’t separate (I use a fish slice spatula one the underside and my hand on the top side to quickly and carefully flip it).
I used to quickly grill these in my panini grill until golden, which meant they didn’t have to be flipped until my panini grill broke (and I cried). Now I do it in a grill pan on the stovetop (about 1 minute each side) or toast it in the oven under the broiler. You can also just toast it in a regular saucepan.
Don’t put it in the toaster though – all the filling will fall out! Eat these soon after making them because otherwise, the high moisture content of the vegetables will make the sandwich soggy. Equally don’t toast the bread on both sides first and then make the sandwich, it’s just not as nice when it’s crunchy on the inside.
If you’re a bit wary of the filling falling out you can also wrap your masala sandwich tightly in a single layer of aluminum foil and grill that way.
And of course, the amounts given may be for one sandwich, but there’s no need to limit yourself to just one! Or two! Or ten! (Just saying….)
- 2 slices of white sandwich bread
- About 1.5 tsp dairy free-margarine or plant-based butter
- 1 small Persian or baby cucumber or about 1/5th of a large Cucumber
- 1 large ripe firm tomato
- 1/3 a small red onion (or substitute a regular white onion)
- 1/4 tsp chaat masala
- Spread the dairy-free margarine on the two slices of white sandwich bread
- Thinly slice the cucumber and layer it across one piece of bread (the side with margarine on it)
- Slice the tomato into thin slices and layer across the cucumbers.
- Thinly slice the onion and chop into thirds. You can either add it on top of the tomatoes as is (raw, I prefer it that way), or soak the slices in ice-cold water for ten minutes to make them taste milder (drain well or you'll have some soggy sandwiches!). If you have any already-cut onions in the fridge they would also be perfect for your sandwich.
- Sprinkle evenly with the chaat masala and top the vegetable layers with the remaining slice of bread (margarine side down) and toast or grill for between roughly 1 minute each side, or until as golden as you prefer.
- Enjoy! Best eaten freshly made.
Amount Per Serving Calories 411Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 31mgSodium 413mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 6gSugar 15gProtein 10g