Curry-stuffed Savory Toast

So, uh, this happened.  I have no idea where the idea came from, except that I’ve been obsessing over French toast variants.  Again.

[pre-ramble] There are lots of different kinds of “French” toast, see.  It’s an entire family of things that are dipped in some sort of custard and fried in butter or oil – at least if you take the varieties aound the world, and how people classify their dishes. (Especially, if you want to find a regional variant, include “French” along with “toast”).  If you look at it this way, even the venerable Monte Cristo sammich is more or less in the same family.  Same with the Italian “Mozzarella in Carozza” (see my version here).

I’ll touch on this a bit more after the jump, but to tempt you to read futher this is where we’re going today:  savory Indian toast stuffed with a tomato-chicken curry and home-made paneer.

Indian Toast Stuffed with Curry and Paneer

Shopping List:

  • 1-2 loaves (depending on the crowd) “rustic” bread.  I’ve been having a lot of success with pugilese lately.  Can be stale or not.
  • 1 green pepper
  • roughly 1 cup onions
  • 6 eggs
  • flour
  • curry powder
  • 2-3 cups tomato curry (link to recipe)
  • Paneer (link to recipe)

Extras:  Chutney for dipping. Mango, etc.  Nothing sweet.

Note: Curry can be leftover, or you can have leftovers.  Try to make the paneer 6-8 hours before you use it.

Now, the purists out there would be happy to know that what’s considered “French Toast” in the US, and a bunch of other countries is almost assuredly closest to the original.  The first known reference to a similar recipe can be found in Appius’ “Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome”, first published somewhere around year three.  (Note: the text in brackets are editorial notes that I can’t verify)

Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs], fry in oil. Cover with honey and serve
Source: Project Gutenberg: ,”Another Sweet Dish”

And now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to settle down and actually start doing something about dinner.  This one is particularly a “weekend meal” since there’s a bunch of things and a bunch of steps that just take time.  Thankfully a lot of it is just doing things and wandering off for a bit, but it’s probably three hours all told start-to-finish.

That said, the curry makes enough to be a stand-alone meal. Alternately, leftover curry can be used.

This serves up to about eight, depending on sides and how much bread you have.

To begin, Cut up a loaf or two of bread.  I didn’t have any stale bread, so I used an Italian pugilese (it has a really sturdy crust) into 3/8″ to 1/2″ slices.  Keep in mind you’ll need two slices per sandwich.  Then, find the onions you saved earlier, and also dice up a green pepper.  You’ll want to re-dice the onions, and dice up the peppers smaller than for the curry, so they’ll fit in the crannies in the bread better.  Then, in a bowl, beat six eggs, then fold in the onions and the green pepper, along with 1-1/2tsp pepper and and 2tsp curry powder.  Also, fold in 1/4 to 1/2 cups flour to thicken it. I’d go on the heavy side.

Heat up yet another large pan (I used my iron skillet for this) and melt two tablespoons of butter in it.

Take a piece of bread and dip it in the batter, one side only.  It’s pretty messy, but you’ll want to scoop up some of the veggies with your hand and work it into all the nooks and crannies of the bread.  Start that in the pan (battered side down of course), top that with a generous bit of curry and some of that paneer, then repeat the dipping process with another slice of bread and top the sandwich.  When the bottom side is done, flip and cook the other side.  Repeat as neccessary for everyone. Make sure you have more than enough bread.

Serve with a bit of chutney.  The mango chutney I got was quite nice, but your favorite savory should also work.

Did you follow all that?  I hope so.  It’s a lot of stuff, but it’s worth it.  The kids ate more than I could, for a change..