Care For A Sandwich?
Remember when we were young and our stomachs growled for a sandwich? A time when going to McDonald’s or KFC wasn’t an option? When modern, comfort appliances hadn’t yet conquered our lives? Then mommy would whip out her hand-held sandwich maker, toss it and turn it around and open it to scrutinise multiple times, and out would emerge perfectly crusted, soft within, cooked to perfection, our favourite sandwich.
On the streets of Mumbai as I walk, my heart wells up as it falls on a man holding my mom’s weapon of lure. The man mashes the masala (boiled potato with onion, chillies and other spices) together and gives it a final twirl before sealing it between two slices of bread. He unwraps the dainty butter slab, swishes a knife through it, and coats the insides of the sandwich maker. Very gingerly he places his work of art within the safe folds of the device, surrenders it to the burning stove, and turns to me and says, “Two minutes.”
I watch him with the same impatience as I did my mom as a child. I tug at my bag, missing her sari for the same. He angles it, opens it. A spoonful of butter glides its way through as intuitively as a river during monsoon across its parched banks. Finally, in exactly two minutes, he scrapes out my sandwich and transfers it on a paper plate. As I reach out hungrily, he nods his head ever so slightly, garnishes with some butter on top, and finally places the steaming sandwich on my palm.
And as I bite into it, the ‘aloo’ sandwich brings back memories of simpler times. It reiterates my belief in the beauty of simple joys of life and the honesty of simple, authentic food made with indigenous ingredients.
Want a sandwich too? Then head to Bandra. Any time of the day, but I would say mornings are the best. Order a standard sandwich or a customised one. Pick up your sandwich and walk towards the sea. There, perch yourself and enjoy your ‘aloo’ sandwich, often overlooked, but ‘totally-worth-pouncing-on’ street food of Mumbai.