10 June 2011

Onion Sandwiches

I came into the office with my breakfast, and bossman gave me an odd look. "I like onion sandwiches," I said matter-of-factly. He agreed that onion sandwiches are indeed a lovely treat.

My mother used to say that I would take forever to make yoghurt rice (and I still do, with my own home made soy yoghurt that I make every few days). It's significant, because in a South Indian home, yoghurt rice is a very common snack, meal, finish to a meal, whatever. You have it when you want something fast. I liked it with lots of chopped vegetables (tomato, onion, cucumber) and spices (mustard seed, cumin seed, urad daal, toasted in fat) and curry leaves. In other words, yoghurt rice would take me 15 minutes to make, while most people are content with yoghurt + rice, which takes five minutes to make.

I tell you all that to tell you this: my onion sandwiches are no different. I like things just so. First, I liberally rub a baguette with a clove of garlic. This gives the bread a most tempting garlicky taste. I split the bread in half, and fry the cut sides in olive oil over medium-high heat, so that they get a nice crispy crust on the inside, and get pillowy and warm on the outside. This way, when I bite in, the outside is not toasted, but soft and fluffy. While the bread is toasting, I slice off a couple of slices of white (and if I have it, red as well) onions, and salt them. I let them hang out in the salt until they're a little tender. If you slice your onions thinly enough (as you should), they should be salted in about three minutes.

On a warm summer day, it's a most refreshing treat.