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I’m back…not that I went away or was doing anything fun…nope, like all normal mortals I went out and got a job!!! Adjusting took way longer than expected, but hopefully now that I’m settled, my family can go back to eating the way they were formerly used too!!!

When I was growing up, US was this place that everyone dreamed of going to, the pinnacle if you will!! All the shows featured things that to me were quintessentially American, at least to my young eyes…burgers, French fries, pizza, Cola and sloppy joes. I have always wanted to make them. …well eat them then!!!! I have made my versions of burgers, fries and pizza. I have also drunk more soda than I care to admit and have pleasantly found that I can live without it quite comfortably!!! The one dish that I have never attempted is the Sloppy Joe….I would love to give you a truly compelling reason as to why not but don’t have any!!!!

We recently got our kitchen cabinets renovated and for this I had to empty my kitchen….that’s a whole story in itself…picture this, summer vacation, three kids and all their friends traipsing in and out, entire kitchen sealed and blocked off, no dishwasher or stove, a borrowed microwave and entire kitchen in the dining room, lets not forget tripping over a skillet…sounds wonderful doesn’t it ?? Anyway, while moving everything back, I decided to take the opportunity and clean as I arrange…while arranging my cookbooks, I found notes on a recipe I had come up with for a sloppy joe. I was inspired by a recipe from Rachel Ray.

It’s a simple recipe…dont be alarmed by the number of indgredients…..I always seems to have a lot of indgredients…hmmm, need to work on that!!! Most are things you have at home. Sounds delicious doesnt it……meaty, earthy black beans sautéed with sweet, caramelized red onions and garlic, red chili flakes,warm spices, sweet and tangy tomatoes, all somehow enhanced by the color the peppers bring in!!! I served it on a simple burger bun, topped with pickled jalapenos and a simple slaw tossed with lime juice, salt and pepper. I’m calling it the “ East meets West “ Sloppy Joe as I combined Asian, Indian, Mexican and American ingredients.

It tastes divine….the beans provide the buttery …for the lack of a better word, bulk/meat, while the tomatoes, corn and sugar give it a hint of sweetness. The warm spices give it that exotic flair while chili flakes and jalapeno add a kick!!! The slaw gives it crunch ….so important to have different textures isn’t it? I love the umami flavor that soy adds….quite unlike any other and the pickled jalapeno and chaat masala give it a tang that takes it over the edge!!!!

“ East meet West “ Sloppy Joe

2 cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup finely chopped Red, Yellow and Green Bell Peppers

¼ cup frozen Corn

2 jalapenos, finely chopped

1 small Red Onion, finely chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp. Coriander powder

1 tsp. Cumin powder

½ -1 tsp. Red chili flakes

½ tsp. Chaat Masala

Salt to taste

¼ cup crushed Tomatoes

2 tsp. Brown Sugar

2 tbsp. Soy Sauce

Juice of 2 Limes

½ cup shredded Cabbage

¼ cup shredded Carrots

1 tsp. Sesame Oil

4 Burger Buns, split in half

Pickled Jalapenos for garnish

Cilantro for garnish

In a tbsp. of oil, sauté the onions and garlic on low heat until softened and slightly caramelized, 8-9 minutes.

Now add the jalapenos, corn and peppers and sauté for a further 5 minutes.

Add the coriander pwd, cumin pwd, chili flakes and salt. Sauté for 30 seconds.

Add the black beans and salt. Sauté for a minute.

Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, soy sauce and juice of 1 lime. Simmer for 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the cabbage and carrots with the juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Chill till needed.

To serve, toast the buns lightly so that it does not become too soggy.

Top with black bean mixture, then place a few slices of pickled jalapeno, then sprinkle the chaat masala lightly and top with the slaw and the other half of the bun.

Note: Chaat Masala is a mixture of Indian spices that has both a salty and tangy flavor. It consists mainly of dried mango pwd, coriander pwd, cumin pwd, black salt etc. Its widely available in Indian stores.

This is off to ” Meat Free Mondays “ at Tinned Toamtoes and ” Recipe of the Week “ at A Mummy too.

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