I'm a big fan of some of the food shows featured on the Food Network. Food shows like Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Barefoot Contessa, and Good Eats are some of my go-to shows to enjoy and I try to replicate some of the fancy and comforting dishes. One of the shows "The Next Food Network Star" latest winner, Aarti Sequeira, is one of my favorite winners so far. She's a food blogger like myself and is a LA native, and her bubbly and fun personality is a joy to watch. Aarti eats at some of my fave taco trucks, too! One of her first recipes that she made as a contestant was her Indian twist on Sloppy Joes, and I had been dying to make them for myself.
Sloppy Joes are a classic favorite of mine because it's hands on grubbing action with no forks needed. It's like a enjoying a messy hamburger bursting with lots of flavor almost makes you feel like a little kid all over again. These Bombay Sloppy Joes are fantastic and a new fave recipe to add to our menu rotation. I loved the addition of the pistachios and raisins - they provided little pockets of crunch and sweetness to the sloppy joe. Check out Aarti's new show, Aarti Party, because she might influence you to make some tasty new dishes. Enjoy these because they are scrumptious!
Adapted from Aarti Sequeria
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
Small handful (about 1/4 cup) raisins
Small handful (about 1/4 cup) shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 serrano chile pepper (don't chop it unless you like things spicy!)
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup milk
Small handful fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
4 sesame buns
Prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat – heat the olive oil. Add the ginger, garlic and Serrano pepper. Saute until they are slightly browned, about 1 minute. Quickly add the garam masala and paprika and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and 1 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium high, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the raisins and pistachios until they swell up slightly. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon or more to the pan until warm and toast the cumin seeds very quickly. Don’t let them overcook. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until they are translucent. Add the whole Serrano pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the turkey breaking up it with your spoon and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add your prepared sauce to the large skillet with the turkey. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the Serrano pepper, and discard. (You can enjoy the spicy pepper, but that’s too spicy for me!) Add the honey, milk, raisins and pistachios. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if need.
Toast the buns, and add the sloppy joe mixture and garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Review: What a wonderful meal that is Indian-inspired and by playing up to an old childhood favorite. These sloppy joes were quite tasty and addicting. There's no spicy action going on here even with the serrano pepper cooked into the sauce, you can always omit it if you don't care for it. (But it does add to overall flavor of the sauce). I've been on a Indian food kick lately, so I've been in love with the spices of garam marsala and curry powders. It's an exotic and fragnant smell that is so intoxicating to me.