I watched The Next Food Network Star while Aarti was on it. I remember rooting for her really hardcore, and was super excited when she won. A few days later, my husband found her show on and asked if I wanted to watch it. I declined because I said Indian food was really out of my league, plus I have a hard time finding regular groceries in Wyoming, I wasn't about to get excited about a dish I couldn't even find ingredients for. So, I just never explored her cuisine.
When I received my assignment for the recipe swap and found that it was sloppy joes, I knew my husband would be excited. He loves them. I couldn't find several of the ingredients that were called for (or was allergic to them), so made some substitutions and made my own Garam Masala. I was surprised that Garam Masala used all the spices I already had in my pantry.
Bombay Sloppy Joes
barely modified from The Jey of Cooking
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Serrano Chile Pepper, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
1 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Water
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Shelled Pistachios
1/4 cup Raisins
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Large White Onion, Finely Diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeds and Membrane Removed, Finely Diced
1/2 Serrano Chile Pepper, Seeds Intact (do not chop)
1 pound Ground Turkey
1/2 teaspoon Honey
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
Salt, to taste
Small handful Chopped Fresh Cilantro (soft stems included)
yields 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1) Mix all the ingredients for the garam masala together in a little bowl.
2) Begin making the sauce. Over medium heat, warm the oil in a saucepan
until it shimmers. Add ginger, garlic and serrano pepper. Saute until
the ginger and garlic brown a little. Add garam masala and paprika and
saute for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and water. Bring to a
boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add pistachios
and raisins, and cook until the raisins plump and the pistachios toast
slightly. Remove from pan and set aside.
4) Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and warm. Stir in the onions and bell
pepper, saute until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
Add serrano pepper and saute for another few minutes, seasoning with
salt. Stir in the turkey and cumin, break up any big lumps and cook until opaque,
about 5 minutes.
5) Once the sauce is ready, pour into the skillet with the turkey. Stir
and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the mixture has
thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
6) Remove the serrano pepper, add the honey, half and half, pistachios
and raisins. Stir through until well combined. Before serving, garnish
with fresh cilantro. Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and
I think the flavors of these sloppy joes was good, but the flavors were also intense. I couldn't eat an entire sloppy joe. I think that if I exposed myself more to the flavors, I would have been able to eat them all, so maybe I need to expand my cuisine horizons. I do have to admit that I am not a raisin fan, but plumping them in some oil with the pistachios made for a combination I actually really liked.
These would be a great starter dish for someone interested in trying Indian food that isn't so unique that the name itself scares you away.