Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Indian Sloppy-Joe sliders

Confession: Sometimes, the eloquent recipe writing that flies from these pages and ensuing million noble words punched onto the hollows of hyperspace do me very little service on nights when I have an almost empty refrigerator and zero motivation.

Then there are the spent afternoons(which often lead to nights) chasing up countless hours of recorded television.

And of course, the rare occasion sees these phenomena coincide and carom into a most undesirable sequence of events, beginning with where I find it terribly strenuous to feed the many mouths in my house. *Sigh* 

Yet, and I think  I've said it before(?), mindless sensible screen watching is oftentimes the preset to subsequent wisdom/spark of happenings/ culinary sightings that occur within the depths of this kitchen. Yes, great things happen when I watch TV.

So, while I was navigating through dual movie ques, the latter being those of my first language vernacular-keeps me on top of things, you know- it occurred that there may be that pound of ground beef, one nearing its lifespan, awaiting freedom from its term on freezer's second shelf. One thought led to the next and soon enough I was rolling in ideas, stopping in time to find the familiar 24 pack of plush buns, a staple I often find on sale, in the bread basket. Odds ever in my favor? Serendipity? Let's just call it dinner.

Indian styled Sloppy Joe slider. A  piquant hearty almost- burger on sliced mini bread, modelled on taste composites found within fancy Indian menus, and the ultimate in sandwich fulfillment. Where lean mincedmeat opens up to one of its most elevated callings, spice-plus-lots-of-things-nice infused ground, centered between two clouds of Hawaiian bread, small enough to be considered a slider and an obsession I believe I cannot live without. Gaahh. 

Not as sloppy as its American cousin, Indian Joe consists of elements more adhering and in quantities that allow the contents to not drown in pools of sauce or cause spontaneous bursts of combustion on mouth's contact, and bring cause for the thousand napkins. The fact that it forks together in less than twenty minutes beats any felled meat dripping in canned tomato glue, hands down.

It's a swift succession affair. Individual components drape in, gather momentum, and pull together for an immensely unifying outcome, a satisfaction customary of all decent Desi-ized food. With zero overlap in flavors, a mere twospooned mound will find you in awe of the allying balance between Heat, Salt, Sweet and Tang. 
This answer to a higher summons definitely will not be your average Joe. Instead, it's a cult-creating blueprint, and all yours, folks. You needn't even  ask.
Conveniencewise, this is that soccer night/piano night/anyactivitythattakesyourspaceup night dinner. But it expands to more than that, because you've achieved in a portable two bites, what merited chefs do in  elaborate, ethnic-inspired meals.

Careful, careful. This midget of an almost burger, one which can deceive you into the 10-in-a-serving lie, has serious addictive qualities. Certain, beyond a doubt, you really can't eat just one. Take it from the expert. The one in her nextsizupyogapant predicament.

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tsp cayenne or Indian chili powder* 
  • 1-2 tbsp coriander powder 
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I use 93% lean)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 c water
  • ¼ c tomato ketchup
  • 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp softened butter
  • 24 Hawaiian rolls(two 12 packs) or any mildly sweet rolls
  • handful chopped cilantro

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, until it shimmers. 
  • Add the chopped onion, saute until translucent.
  • Add garlic, ginger, stir until they cook down, about 1 minute.
  • Add the diced tomato, cayenne, coriander, cumin. Stir once around to combine. Add beef. Take heat to high and stir beef until it sizzles and is slightly browned (it won't cook all over, but the idea is to create a slight browned crust throughout parts of the meat.
  • Add pepper, salt, water and bring meat mixture to boil. 
  • Once it reaches boil, reduce the heat and stir in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. 
  • Simmer, half covered until meat cooks through and mixture thickens, 8-10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat.
  • In the meantime, turn on oven's broiler.
  • Separate Hawaiian rolls, lay on lined baking sheets, white sides up. Spread with butter.
  • Place under broiler, I minute, or until browned, keeping an eye not to burn.
  • Take rolls out and place 1-2 tbsp meat filling onto bottom part of bun. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • Cover with the top part of roll.
Feel free to adjust the cayenne pepper, spice powders to your level of comfort.

Thank you Scoop Whoop for tucking BFMK green chutney sandwiches into your 13 things you can make under 10. How could you ever go wrong when mentioned along the same ranks of toast and condensed milk? Honored indeed.
Want to make mini a healthful meal? Double up and create larger sandwiches with more filling on whole grain buns or bread, swap beef for turkey and so. And doubling the filling could also lead to other epic pairings, with rice, over noodles, side with appam
Oh endless, the possibilities. 

Hey! Don't leave. I wanted to show-off take you through Firstchild's birthday party (hold the applause, please). She wanted Indian themes, with movies stars, flowers, and giant pinterest-like flower poufs jumping off walls, ceilings and cake. Complete with lots of cutting, gluing, tissuepapershaping, food coloring, marshmallow mess, this took me in more than I anticipated. It was crazy, but methinks we had some fun.
"You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!" Matthew 5:14-15 (The Message)


  1. It so nice ur kido wanted Indian themed that must have been so much fun for the mamma too the cake looks so pretty with motifs.
    Love those unconventional pairing of filling with appam.
    Sliders look yumm Tisa.

    1. Thank you, thank you, Meena. It was fun, took up a lot of time, but certainly fun ;-) Yes, so easy this meat and so good with everything, right?

  2. I have seen many recipes of Sloppy Joes... I always wonder why are they called so? Because the top of the buns are placed sloppily??? :D Nonetheless, I would sit through that whole bunch of yummy goodness... wow... and love the way the whole set up of the party, so colorful!

    1. Thank you. He, he, Rafeeda- Sloppy Joes are called so because of the "loose", sloppy meat filling, and most believe that a cook named Joe invented the first one. The original version is usually more tomatoey and saucier, hence the need for many napkins. My messy bun predicament is solely my lazy fault ;-D


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!