Sloppy Joe Kebab | Using up leftovers

How many of you have heard of a ‘Sloppy Joe’ in England? It’s not a common meal, but this messy beef burger is an American classic and one the kids will love. I first decided to make a ‘Sloppy Joe Kebab' because it was a great way to inject some life into my left over Aloo Keema (mince and potato curry), by disguising the meal from the night before so there wouldn’t be any food wastage. And sure enough this meal went down a treat! I simply swapped the traditional burger bun for a nice chunky naan from the supermarket and served it up to the family as a kebab. Now I always aim to team the two meals together.

Sloppy Joe Kebab

Below is my base mince curry recipe. Add potatoes and peas to make a yummy curry or use it to make your Sloppy Joe Kebab.

SuperFoods included – olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes SuperSpices included – cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper

Serves a family of four. Total cooking time: 40-45mins (If using the next day like me, 10mins to prepare).


  • 50ml (2fl oz/ ¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion – peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods – whole
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) lean minced/ ground beef or lamb
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika
  • 200g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • Ground Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)


Heat the oil in a pot and add the onion, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and black peppercorns and stir-fry the onions on med-high heat until golden and a little crispy looking.

Add the ginger, garlic and stir-fry for 30secs, followed by the minced beef or lamb. Cook until sealed and use the spoon to break up the meat to avoid any clumps.

Add cumin, turmeric, coriander and paprika. Cook the spices for a minute and add the tomatoes and tomato puree.

Stir and simmer (covered) for 30-40mins or until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Check halfway and add little water if the curry looks a little dry, then replace the lid and continue to simmer.

Once cooked, remove a serving for the kids and set aside. Then add salt and cayenne pepper to the main pot and stir. Serve to the family on top of soft fluffy naan topped with freshly cut salad and:

  • Kids 2 years - no tomato ketchup
  • Kids 3 years plus - a little tomato ketchup
  • Adults - chilli sauce and garlic mayonnaise

So there you have it… my Sloppy Joe Kebab. I was really keen to share this recipe with you all in the hope that you’d find it as useful as I have.

I’ve already started thinking about other meals I can transform my simple mince curry left overs into. Next on my list is Cottage Pie…. top the beef mince with freshly cooked mashed potato (grill for a golden crust on top), served with gravy and fresh vegetables.

Feel free to share any ideas you may have too. I’d love to hear them.

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