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Chai Pani's
Sloppy Jai

 by Chef Meherwan Irani

Chef Meherwan Irani Picture.jpg

Chef Meherwan Irani's restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Men's Health, USA Today, and Bon Appetit, among others.

Straight from the Chai Pani vault, this recipe is a fun take on that quintessential Indian street food, Kheema Pav.

Made with spiced lamb hash that is simmered in a stew of tomatoes, ginger, and aromatic spices, the kheema is then piled high on top of buttered, grilled pav (aka Indian buns) and topped with chopped onions, cilantro, and chutneys.  It's the most awesome sloppy joe you'll ever have.

Watch Meherwan create this recipe!


  • 1 lb ground lamb

  • 2 Cups diced onion

  • 1/2 Cup yogurt 

  • 2 Cups crushed tomato

  • 2 Tbsp Oil of choice

  • Handful chopped cilantro

  • 1 Tbsp Spicewalla Cumin Seed

  • Pinch of Spicewalla Black Peppercorn

  • 1 Tbsp diced ginger

  • 1 Tbsp diced serranos

  • 2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste*

  • 2 tsp Spicewalla Coriander Powder

  • 1 tsp Spicewalla Turmeric Powder

  • 2 tsp Spicewalla Cumin Powder

  • 1 tsp Spicewalla Kashmiri Chilli Powder

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp vinegar

  • 1 tsp Spicewalla Garam Masala

  • Spicewalla Sicilian Sea Salt, to taste

  • 1 Pav (or any soft dinner roll. Hawaiian rolls work best)


*Ginger garlic paste is simply equal parts peeled ginger and garlic pureed/blended together. Blend equal amounts of peeled garlic and peeled fresh ginger (1/4 cup of each into a smooth paste in a food processor - a teaspoon of oil will help it blend smoothly. Will keep refrigerated in a glass jar for at least a month. This stuff is gold - it makes a great base rub on chicken and meats). If you don’t have a food processor, finely mince a tablespoon of ginger and garlic and mix together.


  1. In a large pot add oil and heat.

  2. Add cumin seed and a pinch of black peppercorn. Let sputter then add the diced yellow onion.

  3. Let onions get golden brown and then add diced ginger and diced serranos. 

  4. Sauté for a few minutes. 

  5. Add ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until the raw smell is gone. 

  6. Add coriander powder, turmeric, cumin powder, red chili powder

  7. Add a handful of chopped cilantro.

  8. Sauté spices for 1 minute then ground lamb and mix well with the ingredients in the pan making sure nothing sticks to the bottom and then brown the lamb over medium-high heat until fully cooked.

  9. Add yogurt and continue cooking for 20 minutes then add crushed tomato, sugar, vinegar, and garam masala. 

  10. Check for salt and let cook for 10 minutes.


Griddle Pav (Indian bread) on both sides with butter.


Pile kheema high on the bottom bun, drizzle with sweet yogurt, tamarind and green chutney, garnish with chopped cilantro & diced red onions. Top with the other half of the Pav. 

Makes 4 Servings

Chef Meherwan Irani

Chef Meherwan Irani
Georgia and North Carolina

Chef Meherwan Irani Picture.jpg

Follow: @meherwanirani

Visit Chef Meherwan's Restaurants:
Chai Pani


Four James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast. His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Men's Health, USA Today, and Bon Appetit, among others.

QHow would you describe your style of cooking?

A:  Try to embody the spirit of the street food hawkers of India. I ask myself "Is the flavor better because of what you just did?" 

Q:  Do you have a signature dish?

A:   Okra Fries, Kale Pakora, Vada Pav, & Sloppy Jai 

Q:  What was your favorite dish growing up?
A:   Biryani

QWhat are some of the interesting industry trends right now?
A: Pivot back to comfort food.


Q:  Why do you think 1947 Beer pairs so well with your dishes?

A::  Crisp yet smooth. Highlights the flavor of the food. 

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