Bedtime chats and Chilli Cheese Toast
My favourite part of the day is bedtime. My children's bedtime. It's a half-hour routine involving stories, songs, hugs and the thank you game.
Yesterday, one of my sons said thank you that he got “time” to make mummy a card while the other was thankful he got to eat white rice for dinner. They really range from jaw-droppingly sweet to weird.
My favourite part however is snuggling in with my youngest boy on his bed in the dark while I play them a Sesame Street audio story.
M1 loves audiobooks. M2 loves talking with me through the book. Here’s a snippet from yesterday:
M2: Mummy, do you want to be my jaan? (jaan in gujarati = life)
M2: Mummy, do you want to be my baby?
M2: Mummy, do you want to be my white rice?
M2: Mummy, do you want to be my toast.
Me: No cheese?
M2: Yes, cheese!!!!!
Me: Then Yes.
M2: Yayy!! cheese toast!!
After a few more cuddles, he finally stopped talking, and his body became heavy against my arm.
I don’t know which memory I will treasure the most? Having my children fall asleep in my arms or the time my child wanted me to be his cheese toast (in my head, the bigger honour).
I wanted to honour my goodnight chats. They are so fleeting and so delicious you want to hold on to them for a minute more. Exactly like chilli cheese toast.
What is Chilli Cheese toast?
You’ve likely heard of Sesame Prawn Toast, the Chinese starter I’ve not seen any Chinese person eat. But you know, it has spring onion, sesame seeds and soy sauce. It must be Chinese.
I remember Sesame Prawn Toast from when I went to this “Chinese” restaurant, Solitaire, with my family as a kid in the early 90s. Lately, its been blowing up the UK street food scene (so says BBC). Some bloggers are even adding Miso to it, and we all know how hip miso is.
My working theory is that the Chilli Cheese Toast was born from the Sesame Prawn Toast except that it’s vegetarian. Most gymkhanas and “conti” restaurants in India serve it and the recipe is almost identical minus the prawns and sesame and plus the chilli.
Chilli Cheese Toast (for two)
2 slices white bread (toast thickness)
100gm grated cheese
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp Dolly Mumma's Cashew Korma paste*
Handful of mint, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Crushed black pepper
Generous helping of butter
Soften the butter.
Mix together the butter, spring onions, green chilli, mint, Cashew Korma paste, salt and pepper.
Heat a pan and grill one side of the bread until it is golden and almost crispy.
Remove the bread from the pan and slather on a thick layer of the butter-Korma mixture. Top with a generous mound of cheese. Bake them at 200℃ preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until they become crispy.
Serve hot with a fried egg or enjoy by itself.
*If you don't have Cashew Korma, swap if for 1/2 tsp of ginger paste and 1/2 tsp of garlic paste to make a more basic version of this dish.