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    Posted December 22, 2014 by
    Montreal, Quebec
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    Making a Quebecuandian sandwich

    Making a Quebecuandian sandwich

    *Mandeep S. Oberoi


    It is interesting to note that my own culinary skills have evolved over a decade of my life in North America (NA). I had learnt through some life’s experiences to pack a toasted Ciabatta sandwich with melted cheese, mostly the local Québec brands and butter along with specially made meat and vegetables cooked in Indian style. The process of making the Indian chicken is similar to the traditional chicken masala, though I had learnt to add some vegetables for variance that tastes much better with the sandwich.

    I had shared my sandwich with friends from my hiking group in Montreal, Canada few times and they were always eager to know the recipe. I had a friend come over to my place just to learn the dish. I had taken those pictures along with her. The process of cooking the chicken dish from scratch including chopping the vegetables can take up to four hours which may be very difficult to believe. Though you can cook large quantities and freeze them for future use. The same recipe with small variation can be used to make vegan sandwiches.

    The procedure

    Before I get down to the procedure, I remember a neighbor of mine in Seattle telling me that he had never seen so many chopped onions together in his whole life. I had lived in Seattle, USA earlier for work and had made good friends with this couple in my neighborhood. They had come over for a dinner and had insisted that they would want to see me cook. As you can see in the pictures, you would need four to six large onions, tomatoes, around 150 grams of ginger, and two whole garlics as basic ingredients. I always like to use fresh vegetables. You may want to chop them into small pieces as in the pictures. Please pour four to five large spoonfuls of oil in a large, thick pot. Optionally you can add some mustard seeds when the oil is hot. In traditional Indian style, my mom used mustard oil, but I like to use olive oil as another of my NA deviations.

    The process starts with deep frying the ginger, garlic, onions, and tomatoes in the order in medium to low heat. It can take over 45 minutes to transform into a thick paste. Then it is the time to add mild Indian spices, say one teaspoon each of garam masala, coriander powder, tandoori masala, salt, pepper, and half teaspoon of turmeric powder if you are preparing over two pounds (1 kg) of chicken or red meat. I like to keep the spices mild just to grab the flavor.

    Once the paste is made, you can add the chicken and cook in slow to medium heat for over half an hour. This can be eaten with rice, naan bread, or be sandwiched. I usually like to make a sandwich for my weekend hiking trips. I would recommend using boneless chicken if you intend to make sandwiches. Also, you can add vegetables of your choice such as cauliflower, capsicum or bell peppers as they are called here in Canada, spinach, etc after the chicken is made and cook together for another 20 minutes. Please keep stirring all the while in say, two minutes of intervals.

    I have also added a picture of grilled Quebecuandian tandoori chicken BBQ from this past summer.


    I have been hearing that NA does not have its own cuisine though we have borrowed food from everywhere. Well, here is a recipe for our own line of hybrid cuisine. Quebec province in Canada is famous for its variety of cheese which is harder to get elsewhere. These cheese go really well with the Quebcuandian sandwich along with toasted Ciabatta bread.

    I may like to thank my friends Christine Blake and Jessica Belot (@LivLaf) for editing this article.

    *Mandeep S. Oberoi, twitter @mandeepsoberoi is an outdoor enthusiast. He is an intermediate hiker, kayaker, camper, poet, and writer. He has ventured across Laurentian mountains and Eastern Quebec townships in Canada, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in the West coast of USA, Scottish Highlands, Toco range in the Caribbean, Swiss Interlaken mountains, and the Himalayas, among others. He works professionally as SAP financial services consultant for his firm Dexteyra Consulting Group Inc.
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