I like Indian food, but I don't have a huge attachment to it since I never ate it growing up. Mom hates the smell of curry and Dad tends to avoid anything that's too flavorful. Phil (my bf) on the other hand, loves Indian food. He has been talking about finding some easy but tasty Indian recipes for awhile now. It was all talk until we started watching the show Next Food Network Star.
Right from the beginning, we loved Aarti. She cooked the exact food we were wishing for- Indian flavors with American elements to make them a little more familiar. Not to mention she is a food blogger! When Aarti won the show, Phil and I let out a big "YEAAAHH!". How cool is that? From food blogger to her own show on Food Network? I'm a little inspired.
So in honor of Aarti we made a recipe from her first show: Sloppy Bombay Joes. I always get excited about cooking, but this recipes was especially fun since my kitchen was filled with new scents. The taste did not disappoint either. Here's the recipe with some of my tips and comments along the way.
Aarti Party at Amanda's house!
Photo: Food Network Website
Sloppy Bombay Joes
2T vegetable oil (I cut back on the amount of oil throughout, 1T is plenty here)
1 T minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano chile, seeded and finely minced ( Aarti puts the chile in the sauce and the meat, but I just put it in the sauce since I am in denial about how much spice I can handle and didn't want to over do it. I'm glad I cut back this time, but next time I might try the whole amount.)
1t garam masala (An Indian spice blend, they didn't have it at the normal grocery store, but I found it at World Market, along with lots of other affordable spices, but that's for another blog...)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (I probably used 1T here as well)
small handful shelled pistachios, about 1/4 cup ( Make sure to get some extra to munch while you cook!)
small handful of raisins, about 1/4 cup
1t cumin seeds
1/2 large white onion finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced (I used a green pepper)
1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact, not chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup half-and-half (I used milk)
small handful chopped pistachios
4 - 6 hamburger buns
Begin by making the sauce: Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until it shimmers. Add the ginger, garlic, and serrano pepper. Saute until the ginger and garlic brown a little. Add the garam masala and paprika and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile for the turkey, in large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of oil. When shimmering, add the pistachios and raisins. Cook until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of oil, and warm until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 10 seconds, or until some of the sizzling subsides. Stir in the onions and bell pepper, saute until softened and starting to brown. Add the serrano pepper. Saute for another couple of minutes, seasoning with a little salt. Stir in the turkey, breaking up the big lumps. Cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, your sauce should be ready. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the turkey. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Once the turkey is cooked and the sauce has thickened a little, remove the serrano pepper. Add the honey, half-and-half, pistachios and raisins. Stir through and taste for seasoning. Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro.
Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and serve.
The ingredients for the sauce, prepped and ready to go.
The ingredients for the turkey.
The ginger, garlic, and serrano peppers- trust me, you wish you could smell it!
The raisins and pistachios add a ton of flavor and texture, don't skip out on this part.