I've been wanting to try one of Aarti's recipes since she won the Next Food Network Star this past season. Unless you watched NFNS, you have no idea what or who I am talking about. The show aired over the summer and finished several weeks ago. Aarti, whose "food schtick" is introducing indian flavors to american cuisine, has her own show on Sunday mornings called Aarti Party. Recently, this recipe ran in the October issue of Food Network magazine and I knew it was time to make something of hers!
Ron has always been a fan of NSSJ's. At one time, we had several jars of Not So Sloppy Joes in our pantry. But I must admit that they were never used so they were donated. I'm not such a fan. And since I am the one who cooks, I've opted never to make them. But I decided to try this recipe because I thought the ground turkey, pistachios, raisins, and indian flavors sounded like an interesting combination. I forgot to season (oops!) so I thought the recipe lacked "something" as I was eating my sandwich. So, make sure you season! Salt was a necessity here. Ron loved these. He went back for a triple helping (in Ron's defense; he doesn't have time to eat lunch at work, then he works out, so he's a hungry boy) and had nothing but great things to say after he finished off the leftovers the following day. I didn't see him use salt once! I left the raisins out of the main batch because he doesn't eat them, but I chose to add a few on my sandwich. Honestly, raisins totally work in a sandwich. Overall, this recipe was a success.
Also, I highly recommended that you don't mince chile peppers and ginger, then rub under your nose. Seriously, my face was burning for a few hours and I am thanking my lucky stars that I didn't rub my eyes first. Otherwise, I think I would have had an inkling as to how mace feels when it is sprayed on a person's face. Holy buckets was my nose on fire!
Bombay Sloppy Joes
from Food Network, Aarti
Yield: 4-6 servings
For the Sauce:
- Vegetable oil
- 1 T minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 serrano chile, seeded and finely minced
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- Vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 large white onion
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact (don't chop unless you like spicy!)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- fresh cilantro
- 4-6 hamburger buns
- Begin by making the sauce: Warm oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and pepper, saute'ing until the ginger and garlic brown. Add the garam masala and paprika; saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the turkey, in large skillet, warm some oil. When shimmering, add pistachios and raisins, cooking until raisins swell and pistachios toast slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Return the pan to medium heat, add some more oil and warm. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 10 seconds. Stir in the onions and bell pepper; saute until softened and starting to brown. Add the serrano pepper. Saute for another few minutes, seasoning with salt. Stir in the turkey, breaking up the big lumps, and 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 turkey is cooked and sauce has thickened, 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 buns, if desired.