Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sauteed Onion Tomato Panini (Vengaya Thakkali Panini)

I think there is barely a South Indian who does not know Vengaya Thakkali (Onion Tomato) as this mix is called.  Once made this can be eaten with rotis, mixed with plain rice, or used to make tomato rice, rolled into a burrito, put on a cracker- oh the possibilities are endless, believe me :P

I like bread, and I LOVE Paninis. So I use this to make a nice, quick  protein rich cheesy panini that literally takes about 5 mins :)

Difficulty level : Easy

Time: 10 min (Prep Time) 20 min ( Making Time)


For the vengaya thakkali paste
  • 1 large red onion chopped finely
  • 2 tomatoes chopped finely
  • salt
  • a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilly powder
  • oil to saute
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

For the panini
  • Vengaya Thakkali paste from above
  • 6 slices of bread
  • 6 slices of cheese ( swiss or american or cheddar your choice)
  • Oil or butter (to spread)

Method de Preparation
  1. Take oil in a pan, when hot add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add  a pinch of hing. Immediately add the chopped onions. Saute. Add a pinch of salt and continue to saute till they are clear and translucent. 
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes at that point, and continue to saute. Cook till it done and the juice has left the fruit. Add more salt, turmeric and chilly powder. Saute all together and turn of heat. Garnish with cilantro. Your onion tomato paste is ready.
  3. To assemble the panini, take your panini maker and first set it to start warming.  Then butter both sides of each bread slice. You can use oil too to brush lightly your choice. 
  4. Spread the prepared vengaya thakkali (onion tomato) paste on one side and then place the cheese on top, place the other bread on top and you have your panini ready to be grilled!
  5.  Prepare the other two paninins the same way - bread, paste, cheese, bread and grill them for the required time in the panini maker (~ 2 min each). 
  6. Cut them into two triangles and enjoy as is or with ketchup.

Variations:  If you don't have a panini maker you can just do this on a pan or tava out on the stove for a similar taste. If you are making this for kids, use yellow or white onions which are not as strong as the red ones and reduce the chilly powder if needed. 

The above pictures looks like a 14 layer cake does it not?


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