This unconventional take on the sloppy joe is inspired by the popular chickpea-filled Trinidadian street food, doubles. Like sloppy joes, doubles are a deliciously messy, sweet and savoury snack. They’re typically made of channa (a curried chickpea filling) sandwiched between two pieces of fried dough with tamarind sauce, chutneys and pepper sauce.
For this vegan sloppy joe recipe, the fried dough is replaced with mini sesame-seed buns. The savoury curried chickpea filling is topped with a spicy and crunchy cucumber chutney, as well as a tangy pineapple jam rather than tamarind sauce. It’s an unlikely combination, but if you enjoy sweet, savoury and spicy flavours, this recipe is calling your name. It’s perfect for pleasing picky kids or entertaining guests. Plus they’re veg-friendly for everyone to enjoy!
Channa (Chickpea Filling)
Spicy Cucumber Chutney
Pineapple jam or guava jam can be found in the Caribbean section of your local grocery store or at any Caribbean grocery store.
Finely chop the onion, garlic cloves and green onion. Add a few spoons of oil to a large pot at medium heat. Then saute the onion, garlic and green onion.
Once the onions become translucent, add the turmeric, geera and curry powder and stir — add a bit of water if necessary to keep the ingredients from sticking to the pot.
Add the drained chickpeas and chopped cilantro and stir. Then pour enough water to cover the chickpeas and add in the Scotch bonnet pepper (do not cut the pepper). Let the ingredients simmer on medium heat until soft, adding more water when necessary to keep the mixture from burning or sticking to the pan.
Once the chickpeas have softened and the mixture has a thick consistency, take it off the heat and let cool.
Use a grater to shred half the field cucumber and place in a bowl.
Finely chop the ⅓ Scotch bonnet pepper, removing most of the seeds (this pepper is incredibly spicy, so be careful when handling) before adding to the bowl of grated cucumber.
Add the lime juice and chopped cilantro to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together and place in a mason jar.
Lightly toast the sesame buns and spread a generous portion of pineapple jam to the bottom of the bun, then add a few spoonfuls of the chickpea channa mix, top with a bit of the spicy cucumber chutney — and enjoy!