Sliders (little mini hamburgers) seem to be one of the latest culinary trends . . .
At restraunts you can now find quite a few different varieties of Sliders, like beef, chicken, fish, etc . . . Sadly, I have very rarely seen any vegetarian Slider options. So when I found this recipe for Lentil and Chickpea Burgers with Coriander Cream in my Kitchen Classics: Gourmet Vegetarian cookbook, I was inspired to make my own.
Looking through the ingredient list I found that all the ingredients were items I already had around the house except Tandoori Spice Mix, which is an Indian spice mix typically used on meats that are going to be roasted in a traditional clay oven called a Tandoor. A quick Google search pointed me in the direction of this Tandoori Spice Mix recipe, and it turns out that all of the different spices that make up this mixture were already sitting on my shelf, and most likely will be on yours too.
The Coriander Cream Sauce calls for the use of sour cream. As a vegetarian in New Zealand, I have found it hard to find yogurt or sour cream that does not use gelatine as a thickener. Gelatine is a product made from the skin, boiled crushed horn, hoof and bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and horses. It is added to many dairy products here in New Zealand (you do not find gelatine used in dairy products as often in the United States) in order to give them a better texture; it also can be used in many other food products like gummy candy, jelly/Jello, honey comb, and other deserts. There are certain brands like Cyclops that are gelatine free, but they also tend to be quite expensive and hard to find. Just for you, Herbivores, here is my vegetarian food tip of the day . . . Even though the full fat version of Tararua sour cream has gelatine, the Tararua Lite sour cream does not, and it is reasonably priced and easily found at the major food stores.
I used red onion, roasted red peppers, and avocado to top off these little burgers, but you can use any toppings that happen to be in your refrigerator or that you prefer. Melted Swiss cheese with sauteed mushrooms and onions might be another excellent combination with this Lentil and Chickpea Burger recipe; one that I am planning on trying out on my left overs.
Lentil & Chickpea Sliders with Coriander Cream
from the Kitchen Classics: Gourmet Vegetarian cookbook
MAKES: approximately 14 Slider sized burgers, or 12 normal sized burgers
PREP TIME: 30 mins
COOKING TIME: 30 mins
for the burgers:
- 250g (9oz or 1 cup) red lentils
- 1 tablespon oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon tandoori spice mix
- 425g (15 oz) either tinned chickpeas, drained or dry chickpeas soaked over night and then cooked
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons corriander/cilantro, chopped
- 180g or 2 1/4 cups stale breadcrumbs
- flour, to dust
for the Coriander Cream:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup fresh cream
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 3 table spoons corriander/cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the lentils and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Drain well once they have been cooked.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until tender. Add the tandoori spice mix to the onions, and fry off the spices until they are fragrant.
Combine the chikpeas, half the lentils, ginger, egg, and onion mixture in a food processor until smooth. Transfer into a bowl and add the remaining lentils, parsley, coriander/cilantro, and bread crumbs, and combine well.
Divide the mixture into portions. If the mixture is too soft, refrigerate for about 15 mins or until it becomes firm. Shape the portions into round patties, toss them in flour, and shake off any excess. Place the patties on a lightly greased BBQ and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the are brown. Alternatively you can use a grill pan, a skillet, or bake the burgers in an oven.
Serve with the Coriander Cream: To make the Coriander Cream, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
To build the sliders: Toast the Slider rolls under the broiler of the oven being careful not to burn them. Place a large dallop of the coriander cream on the bottom half of the bun, add the burger patties, and top with another teaspoon or so of the Coriander Cream. Add the avocado, roasted peppers, and red onion or whatever other toppings you think will go nicely.
Both the burger patties and the coriander cream can be prepared 2-3 days ahead of time and stored covered in the refrigerator.