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  • Writer's pictureSharanya Raghunath

Lentil Sloppy Joe's

Over the last year, I have definitely been cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Experimenting with some traditional Indian meals has been my favorite thing. Growing up Indian American, I am used to fusing my diverse cultural, so why not do the same with food.

Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular Indian street foods, but in this recipe, I am replacing the potatoes with lentils. My love for lentils runs deep, so this should come as no surprise. This is a slightly complex recipes so drop in your questions below on comment on the post.


1 1/2 C of Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)

1 C of Grated Carrots

1 C Grated Cabbage

1/2 C of Peas

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 Tbs of Tomato Paste

1 1/2 Tsp of Garam Masala

3-4 Tsp of Pav Bhaji Masala

1 Green Chili Finely Chopped

1 Tsp of Freshly Grated Ginger

1/2 Tsp of Turmeric

1 pinch of Asfoetida

1 Tsp of Cumin Seeds

1 Bay Leaf


  • In an instant pot, add the lentils, carrots, and peas with 3 C of water. Let it pressure cook for 12 minutes. You can release the pressure manually.

  • On the stove top, set a fry pan or Kadai at medium heat. Add sesame oil and let it heat for 20-30 seconds. Add the cumin seeds and roast till the color turns darker brown. Add the bay leaf and the asfoetida.

  • Add the onions and cook till they are translucent.

  • Add the ginger, and the remaining dry spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

  • Add the tomato paste and cabbage, allowing everything to cook down. This will take about 4 mins. Add this mixture to the lentils in the instant pot. Quick Tip: Add a splash of water if the food sticks to the bottom of the pan.

  • Turn the instant pot to the saute mode at low heat. Let everything cook down for 10 minutes. This is meant to have a thick consistency so add water as needed. This will also prevent your instant pot from burning.

  • You can leave the Instant pot at the "keep warm" setting until you are ready to eat.

  • Serve the bhaji with dinner rolls (these are our favorite) or you can make these into Sloppy Joe's! I garnished my Sloppy Joe's with onions, lemon juice, cilantro and cheese. Skip the cheese if you want to keep it vegan.


You do not need an Instant pot for this recipe. Soak your lentils in water for 2-4 hours and cook it on the stove top with 3 cups of water for 20-25 minutes. At step 6, you can add everything to a larger pot and cook at medium heat. Once everything is combined you can keep it at a low simmer till it is ready to serve.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram! If you make this recipe, post a picture and use #boredscientistcooks so i can see your recreations!

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