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Bombay Sloppy Joes

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recipe adapted from Aarti Sequeira.

When I first started this blog and asked around for recipe suggestions, a friend asked if I had any "gourmet sloppy joe" recipes.  I hadn't, until I recently came across this recipe.  It definitely isn't your typical sloppy joe with all of the Indian influences, so I thought it'd be the perfect contender.  Good news and bad news.

Bad news first: the recipe didn't quite hold up to its high expectations in my opinion.  The good news:  the recipe definitely has potential and with a few simple tweaks, I think this could be a winner.  The main thing I'd change is to forget about adding any water to the sauce.  The recipe calls for a whole cup of water, which in my opinion diluted all of the spices and flavors.  The second thing I might try next time is to reduce the amount of half-and-half.  The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup, but I think half of that should be fine.   Lastly, I doubled the amount of garam masala and honey.  Hopefully these changes will make the recipe deliver!


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced
2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
15 ounces tomato sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 Serrano chili pepper, kept whole
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon honey
A splash of half-and-half
Small handful cilantro, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt, to season


For the sauce, heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the ginger, garlic, and chili pepper and stir for a minute.  Add the garam masala and paprika and cook for another minute.  Add the tomato sauce, stir, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until desired consistency is achieved (if you prefer your sloppy joes to be heavy on the "sloppy" side, this would be the time to add a little bit of water; I chose not to).

In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the raisins and pistachios and cook for a minute or two.  Remove and reserve for later.  In the same pan, add the cumin seeds for 15 seconds or so (watch out for exploding/flying seeds, hah!).  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink (5-7 minutes).  Drain any excess grease, and add the sauce and whole chili pepper to the saute pan.  Season to taste with salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the whole chili pepper and stir in the honey, half-and-half, raisins, pistachios, and cilantro.  Taste again and season if necessary.  Serve with fresh, toasted kaiser rolls and enjoy.

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