The (Condiment) Imitation Game


Today, we explore the art of imitation in a sandwich spread. What happens when the imitation surpasses the original?

You congratulate the (con) artist.

The writer of this article’s mother, Amita, is one such artist, the type of person who can walk into a restaurant, order a dish, take one taste, and guess what’s inside. After her mandatory listing of every ingredient she knows to be on her plate, she announces that she can make it at home.

“As soon as I eat something,” she pronounced yesterday, “I have to know what it contains so I can do it myself. None of it seems too difficult to me.” Then she considers for a moment. “Well, except baked goods.”

We can leave the dessert up to Betty Crocker for now and move onto something both more simple and more ingenious: Amita’s Sandwich Spread.

About five years ago, Amita bit into her Mediterranean Veggie sandwich at a local Panera Bread and had a thought: What if she could buy all the ingredients of this sandwich and make it at home to please her picky, yet brilliant and darling children? She purchased the tomato basil loaf from Panera Bread at $4.79, which is less than the price of one sandwich. She bought the various vegetables and feta cheese. The one thing she did not pick up was the jalapeno cilantro hummus used in the Mediterranean Veggie. Rather, she felt she knew what would make the sandwich taste like itself, only better.

What she came up with was Amita’s Sandwich Spread, a unique combination of two condiments from two sides of the world: coriander chutney and honey mustard.

Amita’s Sandwich Spread

Medium bunch of coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 cup of water
2 tablespoons honey mustard


Blend coriander, salt, turmeric, lemon juice, and water. Make sure consistency is similar to that of tomato sauce.

Stir in honey mustard.

You might wonder why Amita doesn’t just blend the honey mustard with her chutney. She says this is because she likes to control the amount of mustard she adds each time depending on the brand she buys. The spread should taste just slightly tangy-sweet, with most of the flavor coming from the fresh coriander.

Needless to say, five years later, this spread is still popular at Amita’s house. It’s delicious in the sandwich that started it all, but is also a great salad dressing substitute. We at Silver Spork News would also suggest trying it as a dipping sauce for samosas and spring rolls. There are endless possibilities if you know how to bring good food home and make it great.

Post and Photo by Nandini. Recipe by Nandini’s mother, Amita.