Sliders: Tiny burgers that are entering Mumbai restaurant menus

Feb 16, 2014, 10:10 IST | Sonal Ved

After sandwiches and burgers, say hello to the latest entrant on the snacks counter — sliders. These puny burgers are increasingly finding a mention on restaurant menus, finds Sonal Ved

Last year chefs gave the humble burger a makeover. It went from being two slices of breads stuffed with aloo patty to a glamorous dish bursting of gourmet cheeses, smoked meats, artisanal dips and much more. This year, it’s all
about sliders.

 Lamb sliders from Sundance

Tiny version of the big burger, the slider gets its name from the fact that the original recipe contained greasy meats that simply slid down the gullet. While an authentic slider must contain the trinity of onion slices, grilled beef and cheese, the ones floating around the city are much more than that.

Roasted Bell Pepper and Feta Sliders at Nido, Khar. Pic/Emmanual Karbhari

At Lower Parel’s Mai Tai Lounge, we found one inspired by Asian flavours of bulgogi, miso and teriyaki sauces. Chef Rahul Hajarnavis from the restaurant says, “What differentiates a slider from a burger is the fact that sliders have limited elements stuffed inside which makes each component pure and obvious on the palate. Like meat and sauce in this case.” Whereas a burger is likely to have several more components such as salad greens, raw veggies and cheeses and so on.

Meat matters
In its original form, sliders were stuffed with beef, but in Mumbai, lamb seems to be the preferred choice of meat. We say this because lamb sliders sell like hot cakes at mid-town’s Tilt All Day and The White Owl, Churchgate’s Café Sundance and Bandra-based The Daily. Chef Kshama Prabhu from the The White Owl says, “In Mumbai, lamb works better because of two reasons. Firstly, easy availability of good quality local mutton and secondly, far more people prefer lamb over beef.”

Nido’s Chef Vicky Ratnani who lines up his high-tea trolley at with roasted bell pepper and feta cheese sliders each afternoon, thinks that there is no dearth of vegetarian ideas too. He says, “Since sliders are small and pick-able eats, it is easy to get creative with them. And by that I don’t mean just the filling; one can experiment with various breads, sauces and dips too.” For instance, at his Bandra-based restaurant sliders are made using miniature ciabatta bread instead of regular burger buns and the filling alternates between meats, fresh vegetables and various vegetarian proteins.

A similar experiment is also conducted at Khar’s Loca Loca that uses a filling of cottage cheese and corn, while Café Sundance works with a mince made out of soya granules cooked in Bolognese style. Besides the international versions, Juhu’s Copa does an Indian slider too. Made on the lines of samosa pao, each brioche is filled with the fried snack along with yogurt-garlic chutney to make up a perfect fused dish. Mai Tai plans to launch a slider fest at the end of this month featuring 12 sliders from various cuisines around the world.

Recipe: Pesto vegetables and Haloumi sliders

*3 small bun breads of your choice,
*10 g green zucchini (julienned),
*10 g yellow squash (julienned),
*10 g capsicum (julienned),
*1 red bell pepper (julienned),
*1 block of haloumi cheese,
*1 tbsp olive oil,
*2 tbsp mayonnaise,
*handful of lettuce leaves,
*2 pesto sauce, *1 onion (chopped),
*2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped),
* few sprigs of celery ( chopped)

*In a pan, heat oil and add celery and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes and add pesto sauce to it. Add all the vegetables and sauté until cooked
*In another pan, sear haloumi cheese until brown and remove from fire. Slice the bread buns into two and toast them on the same pan and keep aside
*To assemble the slider, apply a layer of mayonnaise on the base of the bread and top it with lettuce leaves and onion rings
*Place pesto-tossed vegetables on top with a slice of browned haloumi cheese
*Serve hot with French fries or potato wedges

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