New Delhi Sloppy Joe Burger

This recipe is truly an adaptation on the ‘American’ Sloppy Joe and has a refreshing Indian twist to it! As many of you may know, it is not common to find beef in India because of the religious connotations (in Hinduism, which is widely practiced in India, cows are considered holy, and therefore it is not kosher to eat them!) 🙂

I make this recipe with both beef and lamb, but have included lamb as the primary meat source just out of respect since I am calling this an ‘Indian’ recipe. But you can even make it with ground turkey or chicken with outstanding results! I think it is lovely with beef and lamb (the red meat flavors really make you believe you are eating a true sloppy joe!), but either way is great.

Some might argue that my recipe here is a simple Indian ‘kheema’ recipe without the potatoes and peas, however I do think that this recipe tastes very different than Kheema. Try it out and let me know what you think! My husband gave it two thumbs up, and in my books, that means that it’s a keeper! 😉

PS – he loves his spice, but if you are not interested in a high spice profile, omit the red chili flakes and/or the green chilies! You can always add more later if you want (or even top your burger with some Sriracha sauce!)

Yields: 4 sloppy joes!

Ingredients

Spicy Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger (or ginger powder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 thin green chilis, seeded and finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 (12 or 15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup water

Lamb:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup toasted cashews
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or powder)
1 teaspoon ground all-spice powder
1/2 large white onion, finely sliced
1 bell pepper (color of your choice!), seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
3 green chilis (seeds intact if you want it spicy) chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 pound ground lamb (or beef or turkey or even chicken!)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup half-and-half
Small handful chopped fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
4 hamburger buns

Garnish: thinly sliced red onion & freshly chopped cilantro

Directions

For the spicy tomato sauce:

Heat the vegetable oil in your saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chopped green chili. Saute slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Now add the garam masala and paprika and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Keep warm.

For the lamb filling:

Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet and add the cumin seeds (or cumin powder) and all-spice and cook for about 20-30 Now add chopped onions and bell pepper, stirring occasionally until softened and starting to brown. Add the chili pepper. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add salt, ground lamb, Worcestershire, cilantro, & black pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up the lamb and incorporate all ingredients well. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes until the meat is no longer pink and browned. Continue to use the wooden spoon to break up the beef into smaller pieces.

Now add the honey, half-and-half, and toasted cashews, stirring throughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Take pan off of heat and set aside.

Assembling your burgers:

Toast the hamburger buns on a preheated grill pan or on a skillet. Fill with the meat mixture, top with the spicy tomato sauce and serve. My favorite way to serve this burger is to garnish with fresh red onion for a bit of crunch and fresh cilantro.

Enjoy! 🙂

Wine Pairing: A full-bodied Zinfandel or Pinot Noir is perfect with this spicy, red meat dish!…or a SWEET MANGO LASSI! 😉

South-Indian Green Bean Sauteé

I learned this simple recipe from my fabulous mother-in-law who lives in Chennai. This is a typical dish from the Andhra region of India , and I found that cooking beans in hot milk is such a unique, yet simple way of bringing out the lovely flavors of the vegetable (not to mention, of course, that it is a healthy alternative to using cream or butter!). Andhra cuisine is typically on the spicier side, which is why this recipe includes split green chilis – if you are not a fan of hot spice, feel free to omit it. On the other hand, if you want additional spice, feel free to include some red chili powder into the recipe!

You can find turmeric and fresh curry leaves at your local spice shop or Indian store. I love cooking this on a weeknight since it’s fast, easy, and healthy.

Variations: Get creative and use a different green vegetable such as squash or okra and cook it the same way – deliciousness is guaranteed 🙂 Feel free to use frozen vegetables too – they are often frozen at their freshest moment and are perfect when you don’t have the time or energy to go grocery shopping! 😉

Enjoy! 🙂

Yields: 2-3 servings
Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil
6-8 curry leaves
1/4 cup chopped red onion
4 small green chilis, split
1.5-2 cups green beans, trimmed and chopped (or you can leave them whole)
Kosher salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup hot milk (I prefer using whole milk or 3%)

Optional garnish: fresh, chopped cilantro

Directions

Add oil to the pan and heat. Add curry leaves and fry them for about 1-2 minutes.

Add chopped red onion and 4 split green chili to the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat a cup of milk in the microwave in a mug until you can see steam rising (approximately 2 minutes).

Add chopped green beans, salt, turmeric, and hot milk to pan. Reduce heat and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until beans are tender and ingredients are well incorporated.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with Indian bread and/or fresh basmati rice! 🙂

Spicy Egg Curry

I learned this spicy recipe from my mother-in-law when I went to visit in Chennai and fell in LOVE with it! I’m always trying to find new ways to balance my meals between carbohydrates, protein, etc. to make sure we are getting the right nutrients, and I find this dish to be a great way to get protein in without going the meat-route.

It IS spicy, so feel free to omit the green chili altogether or tone down the amount of chili powder. I use Madras Chili Powder which is even more potent than what is available at the local store in the states. Just remember that with any dish, you can always add more salt and spice LATER but it is more difficult to cut the salt or spice factor after you’ve already put it into your pan. So if you’re nervous about the spice, start slow and add later if you taste the need.

I hope you enjoy this authentic South-Indian egg curry as much as I do!

Please note: This recipe does not yield a ‘soup’, but rather eggs in a little bit of spice gravy – if you want more gravy, add seasonings and add more tamarine water!

Ingredients

4 boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 green chilis, split
3 teaspoons safflower oil (or canola oil)
5-7 curry tree leaves (you can buy these fresh from the Indian store or buy the plant in the spring/summer to grow at home!)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3/4 cup tamarine water (or tamarine paste with water) – Note: fresh tamarine and tamarine concentrate/paste are available at your local Indian store

Garnish: fresh chopped cilantro

Directions

In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and add chopped red onion and green chili. Let it cook down for 2-3 minutes until tender.

Add curry leaves and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, slit each egg with an ‘X’ mark to allow the flavors of the curry to be absorbed by the egg. Make just a little cut and don’t cut through to the yolk!

Add chili powder, Kosher salt, ginger, garlic, tamarine water (or tamarine paste with water). Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now add slit eggs, give the ingredients a stir and turn the heat down. Cook for 5-7 minutes and your dish is done!

Serve hot and garnish with fresh cilantro and hot rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.

Enjoy!

Pri’s Indian Butter Chicken

Many of you must have been wondering – Priyanka is of Indian background, so where the heck are all the Indian recipes??? Sorry for the delay on this guys, but fret not! Here is my first (and definitely not my last) Indian recipe to be on the blog, and what better way to share one of my interpretations of the traditional butter chicken!

I add in blanched spinach into this recipe which gives it the beautiful green color, and also makes this dish a LITTLE healthier than the traditional dish ;-). Traditional butter chicken also calls for boneless chicken pieces, but I prefer whole pieces of bone-in thigh pieces for added flavor. I also think it is easier to serve when you are entertaining – how easy is it to serve one thigh per person (to start, of course), rather than a curry with small, chopped pieces of chicken breast or chopped boneless thigh?

The dark thigh meat is the perfect combination with the tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, spinach, and cream. By the end of your cooking time, your kitchen will be filled with aromas that will make your entire family hungry instantly!

For those of you that are looking for a more traditional butter chicken, omit the spinach, increase the amount of butter by about 2x, and you will have an amazing traditional butter chicken in your pot. 🙂 Served best with hot naan and rice!

Enjoy! 🙂

Ingredients

2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons tandoori masala powder
Approximately 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs (7-8 thighs)
1 tablespoon ginger, minced (or ginger powder)

1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup tomato sauce (or 1 cup of fresh blended tomatoes)
1 cup baby spinach, rinsed and blanched
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt, to taste

Garnish: toasted, sliced almonds & chopped cilantro (if desired)

Directions

Stir the buttermilk, tandoori masala powder, lemon juice, and ginger together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined; add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain and discard any excess marinade.

Puree the onion and garlic with the water and 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a blender until it forms a smooth paste; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken in the hot oil until lightly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons in the skillet. Fry the onion paste in the hot oil until the moisture is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Now add the garam masala and chili powder over the mixture; cook 1 minute more until fragrant.

Blend fresh tomatoes (or tomato sauce) and blanched spinach in blender and pour the mixture into the skillet to cook. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook another 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan; bring to a boil. Add the butter, heavy whipping cream, and salt; reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until the chicken pieces are no longer pink in the middle and cooked through, 30-40 minutes.

Taste before serving, and add additional lemon juice or salt, to your taste. Garnish with sliced almonds and chopped cilantro. Serve hot!