For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
For the Sloppy Joes:
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Small handful (about 1/4 cup) raisins
- Small handful (about 1/4 cup) shelled pistachios
- 1 teaspoon 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 like things spicy!)
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- Small handful fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
- 4 sesame buns
Make the sauce: Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chile pepper and cook until the ginger and garlic brown a little, about 1 minute. 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 and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the sloppy joes: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable 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 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable 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, seasoning with salt. Add the turkey, breaking up the big lumps, and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.
Add the prepared sauce to the turkey-and-onion mixture in the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
Remove the whole chile pepper (unless you want to eat it, like my dad does!) and stir in the honey, half-and-half, raisins and pistachios. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the cilantro right before serving.
Toast the buns and fill with the sloppy joe mixture. Eat with your hands!