• Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 35m

Serves 4

Sloppy Joes - hamburger bun sandwiches filled with ground beef and onions in a tomato sauce - are, as the name implies, a little untidy to eat. In this recipe, we use pita pockets, which makes for neater and more convenient sandwiches. We further tweaked this American classic by using masala, the name for a wide variety of spice blends used in Indian cuisine. Here, we combine chile powder, black pepper, ground coriander and turmeric in a aromatic masala, resulting in an altogether "grown-up" version of a favorite from childhood.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 pound lean high-quality ground beef
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels (from 1 ear corn)
  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pure red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or water
  • 4 pita breads
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes longer. Add the beef and cook for about 5 minutes or until just browned, using a kitchen fork to break up any lumps. Carefully pour off any fat in the pan.

Add the tomatoes, corn, pepper, chili powder, coriander, turmeric and salt, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low; add the beef stock and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is moist but not soupy. In the meantime, wrap the pitas in aluminum foil and warm them in the oven. Remove the beef from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, squeeze some lime juice over the mango slices and lay a few slices along the inside of the breads. Fill the pita "pockets" with large helpings of the Masala Sloppy Joe mixture.

NOTES: Almost any chopped vegetables can be added to this dish; it's a great way to use up roasted or grilled leftovers. You can also use the beef mixture to fill samosas.

WINE SUGGESTION: Bardolino (Italy), Cotes du Rhone (France), or a pinot noir from the West Coast will successfully match the mixture of flavors in this recipe.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 3356

nutrition information per serving

546 calories; 21g total fat; 65mg cholesterol; 441mg sodium; 60g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 32g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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