Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira winner of The Next Food Network Star, 2010 and star of "Aarti Party". I thought this recipe sounded interesting when she featured it in her show because it includes many spices I love to use. My disclaimer: I used what I had on hand. I am not fond of cooked raisins and did not add the pistachios. I subbed ground beef for turkey and a jalapeno pepper for the serrano chili. Clearly beef and turkey are different and the taste will be different but this was enjoyed by the grownups & the kids in the family. The kids prefer this to "regular" Sloppy Joes. Aarti said it was ok to use beef but turkey would lend a sweeter flavor to the dish.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 serrano chili, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 3 -4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1⁄4 cup shelled pistachios
- 1⁄4 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1⁄2 large white onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
- 1⁄2 serrano chili, seeds intact (don't chop it up unless you like things spicy!)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1⁄2 teaspoon honey
- 1⁄4 cup half-and-half
- 1 small handful chopped fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
- 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 (unless you want to eat it whole, like my Dad does!). 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. Eat (with your hands!) and enjoy!