Driving through Edwalton this week looking for some lunch I spotted a sign for the C ‘n’ C or the Chai ‘n’ Coffee House. A closer look and I saw that they are run by Ghar Ka Khana, who I have seen at a number of local markets selling Indian snacks such as Pakoras, and Samosas and a selection of curry sauces, pickles and dips. So it was looking like I had found an Indian Coffee shop in the heart of Edwalton. When I was living for a brief time in Hyderabad in India we often used to get a hot toasted chicken tikki sandwich for lunch so part of me was hoping to get something similar here.
On the menu, amongst the standard English fare of bacon sandwich, cheese on toast, and cooked breakfasts there were a few more interesting snack options prepared with a spicy twist. You could get either Spicy Scrambled eggs on toast or Spicy Beans on toast, with sautéed onions and tomatoes, both seasoned with salt and chillies for £3.95 and £3.45 respectively. I might have also been interested in the Spicy Cheese on toast which also came with sautéed onions and tomatoes, seasoned with chillies and oregano for £3.45, but really I only wanted a sandwich and so I decided to order a chicken tikka sandwich with some salad.
I was just about to sit down when I saw the Panini grill open to expose a rather tasty looking toasted sandwich of some sort. I could see cheese oozing out of the sides and flecks of red onion tumbling out onto the grill. I just had to ask what it was and was surprised to discover that it was an experimental dish they were just making up where they had sandwiched a vegetable samosa between two slices of bread with cheese, onion, and some spicy hot sauce. Well I am always up for a bit of food experimentation so I cancelled my Chicken Tikki and joined in with the lunchtime experiment.
I was offered a choice of the vegetarian or lamb samosa to go into my toastie so I opted for the lamb. I went with the same red onion and cheese fillings but declined to add any more spicy sauce. As with all impulsively mixed food concoctions it either works or fails badly. I am glad to report that this worked really quite well. The samosa flattened down inside the press to make a double layer of bread and crispy pastry that was folded around the nicely spiced lamb mince and peas. I was really enjoying the nice level of chilli heat from the meat and even more so the way that the flavours and texture of each bite mixed in really well with the soft slightly chewy melted cheese and the crunchy freshly chopped red onion. This really should not have worked but I tell you this much, it really did work.
The Chai ‘n’ Coffee House is attached to the Post Office at 38 Earlswood Drive in Edwalton. If you fancy some coffee shop food with a little spicy twist then this could be the place for you. If you are up for some unusual on the spot creations then you may well be getting a tasty surprise if you turn up at the right moment. If you want to pre-empt the fun then I think they will welcome the suggestions. I was thinking of getting one of their vegetarian scotch eggs in a Panini next time out.
Ghar Ka Khana Edwalton, Nottingham tel: 07974 178318
Indian snacks- samosas, paneer spring rolls, onion bhajees, meat free scotch eggs, pakoras – gourmet masala sauces and marinades.