Food blogger Shanthini Rajkumar on the perfect accompaniment for an exciting match

The buzz is all about FIFA 2014 and little else. Even if you aren’t particularly inclined towards football, the football fanatics who surround you will suck you into the enthusiasm excitement. Cristiano Ronaldo is an invisible, but always present member of my family as I am sure, he is in yours. Brazuca , Brazil , Madrid, Bayern Munich are words that are bouncing off my walls at home.

A few days ago, I was privy to a conversation about sleepovers, munchies and FIFA. Ever since , my mind had drifted back and forth between recipes. As a foodie and a hobby cook, it is a pleasure to think up ideas for the perfect nosh while watching Brazil come alive. The act of watching sport while munching on food go together.

The time of the matches to be telecast may vary from early in the day to midnight but the food part is not up for negotiation. I did not think, even for a fleeting moment, that it would be.

Deliciousness, comfort factor, no-fuss and ‘can- be-served-at-room-temperature’ are some of the guidelines to keep in mind. The mom in me ,quietly adds ‘healthy to that list.

So, how does a club sandwich sound to you? Sandwiches for most folks are the ultimate in comfort food – no age limit on this one. And a club sandwich is doubly special. Lightly toasted layers of bread sandwiched with yummy fillings. The options are limitless.

Let’s keep this one vegetarian, shall we, for universal appeal. Many protests may follow. But there is nothing to beat a sandwich with a smooth cheese herb spread, some hot pickled jalapenos, grilled mushrooms (oooh my favourite!), spiced omelette, crisp green lettuce sandwiched with a sharp Dijon mustard, hung curd, toasted and finely ground nuts for crunch, paired with hearty whole grain bread.

An array of flavours will explode in your mouth at first bite and just for a second, one very long ‘I-am-in-heaven you may even forget FIFA! So, here is a FIFA 2014 Club Sandwich recipe, just for you.

Ingredients

Herb cheese spread: 3 tbsp

Wholemeal bread: 6 slices lightly toasted

Pickled sliced jalapenos: a few

Tomato sliced into rings: 1

Lettuce: 1 leaf, torn ino bite-size shreds

Button mushrooms: 1 packet (sliced thinly and grilled in a pan with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper)

Eggs: 2 (made into an omelette and cut into strips)

Dijon mustard: 2 tsps

Hung curd seasoned with salt, pepper and a drizzle of honey

Walnuts: 1 Tbsp pounded with 1 tsp of olive oil

Method

Spread the herb cheese on a slice of bread ,top with the omelette, add mustard, lettuce leaves and mustard again. Top with the second slice of bread, spread the hung curd, arrange the grilled mushrooms, top with jalapenos and tomatoes. Add the last slice of toasted bread and secure with a toothpick. Want to add another layer? I suggest bell peppers… go ahead and try other options such as grilled pineapple. Serve the FIFA fan a serving of crunchy salad and a fresh mango salsa alongside.

Read more on Shanthini’s webpage Pink Lemon Tree.