Sloppy Bombay Joes (totally inspired by Aarti Sequeira!)

Sloppy Bombay Joes

Wow - where do I start? Finger-lickin' good?! Can't stop at just one?! All true and then some when it comes to these Sloppy Joes.

That Food Network is onto something SPECTACULAR with their newest Chef - Aarti Sequeira. Not too long ago, I had the distinct pleasure of making Aarti's "Friday Shrimp" and absolutely loved it. So much so, that I'm making it again tomorrow night. Today I made her Sloppy Bombay Joes...

I honestly was not sure what to expect. I was born and raised in the south and Sloppy Joes were a regular in our household. So imagine what I must've been thinking when I saw pistachios?? and raisins??, not to mention honey? and cream? in the recipe. Let me just say, I shall never question Aarti again and the next time I make these Sloppy Bombay Joes and there WILL be a next time - I'll double down on the the pistachios and raisins! It's hard to describe the complexity to the dish they added, but they did. Imagine good old-fashioned Sloppy Joes but with something special that you can't quite put your finger on. Maybe it's the garam masala? The toasted cumin seeds? The creamy tomato sauce? Somehow it just all plays nicely together.

I made some minor tweaks to Aarti's recipe to suit my taste and I'll try to call those out below. If you'd like to follow her recipe exactly, here's the link: Sloppy Bombay Joes.

before the tomato sauce is added

Serves 4 - 6

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and finely minced (reserve other half in tact for the meat mixture)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water (Aarti's recipe calls for 1 cup of water but mine was too soupy when done and I had to use a thickener, next time I will only use 1/2 cup of water)

Heat oil in medium sauce pan on medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and pepper. Saute until lightly brown, which will be almost immediate. Add garam masala and paprika and saute for 30 more seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Beef (Aarti's recipe calls for turkey):
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (since I was using 85/15 ground beef, I only used 2 Tablespoons oil, Aarti's recipe calls for turkey and 3 to 4 Tablespoons oil)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, or more
1/4 cup raisins, or more
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 large white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact
heavy pinch kosher salt
couple of turns of freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (not in Aarti's recipe)
1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup heavy cream (Aarti's recipe calls for half and half)
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish, leaves only
4 to 6 hamburger buns, toasted

In large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add pistachios and raisins and cook until raisins plump up and pistachios toast, this will happen quickly. (I've never seen raisins do this before and it's kind of cool!) Remove raisins and pistachios from pan, place in bowl and set aside.

Add the cumin seeds to the pan and allow to sizzle for about 10 seconds (mine actually didn't sizzle, but they did brown). Stir in the onions and bell pepper and saute until starting to soften and lightly brown. Add the other 1/2 of the serrano pepper, salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and crushed red pepper and saute for a couple more minutes. (You could leave out the crushed red pepper until the end and decide if you'd like more spice or not.)

Add ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes or so, breaking up the large chunks. Pour tomato sauce into skillet with meat and stir together, bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for about 10 minutes until meat is fully cooked. Remove serrano pepper and discard. Add honey, cream, pistachios and raisins and stir until mixed. Spoon over toasted bun and garnish with fresh cilantro.



  1. Hi Veronica. I just wanted to say your food blog looks very interesting. Well done! Also, you look way too young to have kids already in college. You must have found the fountain of youth :) OK, take care!

  2. Thanks Brad! Must be all the good eats ;-)

  3. Nice blog! =) I made this too and used brioche buns. They were really good! http://deliciouslynourishing.blogspot.com