Monday, September 13, 2010

Sloppy Bombay Joes

Well, well, well.  All of my rooting for Aarti Sequeira on the Next Food Network Star really paid off.  Last night, I made my first recipe from her show, and people, believe me when I tell you that this was fabulous.  My husband went back for seconds, and I think even thirds...and we're not big on seconds around here!  These sloppy joes have a deep, warm flavor from the garam masala spice mix, and a wonderful crunch and sweetness from the toasted nuts and raisins.  I cannot imagine how I will ever like a different sloppy joe as much! 

This recipe went quicker for me than the website indicated -- it took just 45 minutes.  The orignal recipe called for ground turkey....but my grocery store never got in their shipment of ground turkey.  So, to keep this healthy and economical, I used a mixture of 90% lean beef and 1 can of cannellini beans.  It turned out great, and I'd go ahead with that mix again!  I also think this would be tasty with some lentils cooked right in the sauce, and could even be made that way to be completely vegetarian.  I served this on whole-wheat English muffins, but if you want a bigger sandwich, by all means, get a good hamburger bun or sandwich roll!  Just promise me you'll try this's that good.

Bombay Sloppy Joes
serves 4-6
adapted from


2 tsp canola oil
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, pushed through a press
1/2 serrano chile, seeded and well minced
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup water

Meat Filling:
2 tsp canola oil, divided
1/4 cup peanuts, pistachios, or cashews
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 large white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact (for more heat, you can finely dice the second half of the pepper)
1/2 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
a few Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
4-5 hamburger buns or whole wheat English muffins, buttered (if desired) and toasted

1. Begin by making the sauce.  Heat 2 tsp canola oil over medium heat and a medium saucepan.  Add the garlic, ginger, and minced serrano chile, and cook a couple of minutes, until the garlic and ginger become fragrant and take on a slight hint of color.
2. Add the 1 tsp garam masala and the 1/2 tsp paprika, and cook for 30 seconds, until the spices become fragrant.
3. Add the tomato sauce and 1 cup of water.  Bring to boil, and then reduce the heat so the sauce just simmers.  Cook for 15 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.
4. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp canola oil over medium heat.  When the oil is good and hot, add in the nuts and raisins and 1 Tbsp of water.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until the water has evaporated, the nuts have toasted, and the raisins have plumped up.  Set the nut and raisin mixture aside.
5. Add a second teaspoon of oil to the skillet.  When it has heated, add the cumin seeds.  Allow them to sizzle for 1 minutes, and then add the minced onion and red bell pepper.
6. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and just started to take on color.
7. Add the ground beef, and cook for 5 minutes, until the meat becomes opaque.
8.  At this point, the sauce should be ready.  Add the sauce and the beans to the skillet, and bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat so the mixture just simmers.  Cook for another 10 minutes, to allow the mixture to become quite thick.
9. Remove from the heat, and add in the honey.  Gradually add in the half-and-half.  Stir through and taste, and then salt as necessary.
10. Serve on English muffins or buns, topped with a bit of finely topped cilantro.


  1. That looks like something that will go over very well in my house! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree with Kristy - this would definitely go over well here! I'll have to save this one for a cool winter night. So... maybe tomorrow.

  3. It looks like we both had some great Indian meals this weekend!

  4. This looks so good. I LOVE traditional Sloppy Joes! What a nice twist.

  5. So I love this Indian twist on sloppy joes. I've become such a big fan of Indian fare over the past year, so I know that I would love the flavors of this dish. I so wish we had cable...I miss the Food Network so badly.

  6. What a unique and awesome meal! I love sloppy joes AND Indian food, so this is pretty much perfect :)


  7. Looks so delicious and yum...! Love your beautiful write up dear..

  8. So excited about Aarti's new show! The FN could use some Indian fusion food.

    This sloppy joe recipe looks fantastic. It takes a kind of mediocre American classic to a whole new level!

  9. I was actually kind of skeptical with the addition of raisins, I'll have to give this one a try though!

    I just started liking Indian food - you should try my chicken tikka masala - even my neighbors who've had it in London said its the best they have had!

    Happy Tuesday!

  10. Can you believe how many different ways there are to make sloppy joes? These look excellent! I can't wait to try them, thanks!

  11. I've been wanting to try these ever since I saw Aarti make them! The combination sounds amazing. I've actually never had Indian food, but I think these might be a nice introduction for me. I'm definitely going to try them!

  12. Looks great, I need to catch her show.

  13. I saw her make this one!!! I need to try it. It really sounds amazing.

  14. What a delicious twist on sloppy joes! I like how you included beans in the mix. I like Aarti too - so happy she won.

  15. I just loved reading your 'about me'! What a fun and romantic story! Wishing you a belated congratulations on your wedding.

    What a terrific and creative sloppy joe recipe. I love all of the big bold flavors in here!

  16. I confess that I have never cared to eat a sloppy joe, but throw some raisins, cashews and warm spices in there and there's nothing I want more right now!

  17. This looks delicious! I have been wanting to give one of her recipes a shot.

  18. This sounds so yummy! I definitely want to try this!