Polo Club sandwiches get a makeover with late summer harvest, backyard tomatoes, mint plus some farmer’s market cilantro, and a few delicate spices to make my rainbow chutneys.
Gunita and I carried our helmets as we happily walked side by side towards the stables of the New Delhi president’s estate polo club.
It had taken me a while to get back to this happy space after the loss of my 4-legged companion, Caesar.
As a kid, I was one of those drawn-to-animals children, happily entering gutters to pick up abandoned puppies from pi-dog litters, bringing them home, only to sadly discover, that mom had given them away when I was at school.
When Caesar had multiple complications at 14, everyone was occupied with other life altering stuff. No one was able to devote any time to him despite my worry. Taking matters in my own hand,I ttook him to the vet, had him put to sleep, and buried him under his beloved mango tree. The next few days were a blur.
My company president’s wife Mrs. Kingston kindly suggested I start up horseback riding as a diversion. Military man that he was, my dad was all in favor. Breathing the fresh foggy air of Delhi’s dawn was the best medicine to recover from heartache. Horses from the president’s cavalcade prancing about made me smile from ear to ear.
Interesting when life takes away a valued soul only to bring many others to comfort! Gunita had been my neighbor forever, but only when I started riding did we discover each other.
She offered ‘Would you like a ride’. I promptly agreed. Next morning Gunita showed up in her jeep. Hair flying in the wind, laughing at early morning Delhi walkers flailing their arms furiously to get exercise was another antidote to healing.
A lot of pageantry happened at the polo club. Sepoys would sometimes charge by playing polo in their magnificent uniforms, rehearsing for events.
A very nice side effect of the polo club was the café where we’d sometimes stop by after lessons as our classes took place very early in the morning.
Sandwiches and tea were the club forte and riders got nicely refreshed before starting their day at school or work.
6 slices white bread
¼ English cucumber, thinly sliced
Coconut butter (recipe in next blog)-alternatively use coconut oil
Mint- cilantro chutney
½ cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup packed, fresh cilantro leaves with stems
1 Thai green chili
Himalayan sea salt to taste
¼ cup lime squeezed
¼ cup water
Puree everything in food processor. Set aside.
1 ½ cup tomatoes, diced
¼ cup red onions, diced
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ tsp turmeric
Himalayan sea salt to taste
Heat oil in pan. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add red onions and salt. Sauté till onions are soft. Add the tomatoes and let cook till soft. Stir in turmeric, cayenne & hing and let cook till reduced & tomato chutney lifts off edges of pan. Turn stove off and let cool.
Trim crusts off bread. Save them in tupperware for a future use.
On one slice, spread coconut butter/oil. Spread mint cilantro chutney evenly. Top with slices of cucumber Place 2nd slice of bread. Spread coconut butter/oil. Spread tomato onion chutney. Top with 3rd slice of bread. Press down lightly to cut into sandwich triangles. Repeat with remaining 3 slices.
Serve with ginger clove chai.