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5 from 2 votes

Bombay Sloppy Joes

Since this is an Indian-inspired dish, the original recipe calls for ground turkey (since beef is not eaten). If using turkey, be sure to get turkey thigh meat. Ground beef is excellent in the recipe and you can even use soy ground "meat" crumbles for a delicious vegan option. The sauce can be made a day ahead.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Good Dinner Mom


  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced, include some seeds or all if you want more kick
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 15- ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • For the Sloppy Joes:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper,, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 Serrano chile pepper don't chop it unless you want it really spicy!
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef, may use turkey or cooked red lentils
  • Small handful fresh cilantro


  • First thing, chop and mince all the vegetables so they're ready to go when you need them.
  • Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chile pepper and cook about 1 minute. stirring consistently while ginger and garlic lightly brown. Add the garam masala and paprika and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce and 1 cup water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered 15 minutes.
  • Prepare the sloppy joes: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the raisins and pistachios and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the cumin seeds and let sizzle about 10 seconds, then add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chile pepper and cook 2 more minutes, adding the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the meat, breaking up the big lumps, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the prepared sauce to the meat and onion mixture in the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the whole chile pepper. Stir in the raisins and pistachios. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the cilantro right before serving.
  • Toast buns or rye bread and fill with the sloppy joe mixture.