Kheema Pav Sandwiches

Kheema Pav Sandwiches are an Indian inspired version of sloppy joes with exotic spices and make for a delicious, easy meal.
Kheema Pav Sandwiches - Indian Sloppy Joes

Kheema Pav Sandwiches (Indian Sloppy Joes)

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

One of the things Bill likes to get when we frequent a local Indian-Pakistani buffet is pav bhaji, which is a type of vegetable curry that is served with bread. A very similar dish is kheema mattar which  is made with minced meat (often beef, lamb or mutton) and will have peas stirred in.

I always think of it like a sort of sloppy joe,  and it is if they serve it with the paj, which means bread. The word for it actually comes from the Portuguese word for small bread rolls (pao). Although with the pav bhaji they usually serve it with bhatura or nan (at least at that particular buffet). Bhaji is just another word for a vegetable curry of this type.

So I thought it would be nice to make this up as a conversion of pav bhaji and kheema mattar (which I never see served that way). And since our family adores a sloppy joe from time to time it seemed a great idea. We also love spicy and curry flavors, so having that in a sloppy joe as opposed to a simpler bbq flavor is a plus.

The results are great and it is really quite easy. You can use any meat you like (or if vegetarian maybe some veggie crumbles). As for the more difficult ingredients: amchur is a dried mango powder which adds a little sour tang. You can use a little lemon juice. The asafoetida, or hing, really has no substitute, and  is there mostly for digestive purposes.  If you don’t have it, omit it. Most people detest the raw smell of it anyway (it is quite startling) but once it cooks in, the smell goes away and adds a distinct tiny flavor that adds authenticity to Indian cuisine. I remember when I bought it for the first time, years ago, I was revolted when I opened the package. Once I became brave enough to get  past the shock of that, I found it adds a flavor that I love (and no nasty smell) so I insist on using it in my own cooking. Perhaps that thought will let you decide.  Those familiar with it know exactly of which I speak.

Kheema Pav Sandwiches - Indian Sloppy Joes

Anyway, I hope you like these. I was going to put it in Sunday Supper but I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be able to get a post up today. They are doing recipes for Easy Dinners (and this is certainly easy).  If you get a chance, stop by and give their recipes a peek.

Tomorrow starts #SoupWeek for me when I put up a recipe for Asian Diet Soup. It’s nothing formulaic, but I put together something light with low carb shirataki noodles for something to have while slimming down our holiday indulgences. Since the recipe is already done, you might see I already have a head start on that. But food bloggers always eat seasonal foods earlier than everyone else, so they can get those recipes ready. Nobody wants Christmas Cookies for the sports playoffs. And I bet many are thinking about their diets already. So until  tomorrow-


Kheema Pav Sandwiches - Indian Sloppy Joes

Kheema Pav Sandwiches - Indian Sloppy Joes

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Kheema Pav Sandwiches - Indian Sloppy Joes

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder) (can sub some lemon juice)
  • pinch asafoetida (optional)
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes


  1. Place ground beef, onion, garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper in a large deep skillet or dutch oven and cook, breaking up beef, until it is browned; drain off any excess fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  3. Simmer mixture, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until mixture is as thick as you like.
  4. Serve on toasted buns.

From the kitchen of

Kheema Pav Sandwiches - Indian Sloppy Joes

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