Hot Dog with Masala Peas and Caramelized Onions is a fun Indian fusion hot dog topped with delicious peas in a spiced, tomato based sauce along with caramelized onions, and wrapped in naan bread. Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing. A copy of Haute Dogs was provided to me for free from the publisher for review purposes.
Now give it a moment before you reject the idea. An intensely spiced and slightly sweet mustard seed and tomato curry with peas plays the roll of ketchup and mustard both. A fluffy and warm piece of naan replaces the roll. Caramelized onions sell themselves. It is complex and a little daring. And absolutely delicious.
I was reading Russell van Kraayenburg’s Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments, and at the same time I was thinking about Senate, a Cincinnati pub that serves the most exciting hot dogs I have ever eaten, and suddenly I just had this idea in my mind of what I wanted to make. I knew it would work–and messiness aside, it did. (And if you know how to make a hot dog with lots of toppings not messy, be sure to let me in on the secret!) It is both excitingly foreign and yet comforting and familiar. My children both dove straight in and enjoyed it. John and I loved it.
Getting the right size piece of naan turned out to be trickier than I expected. Obviously you can serve this on plain buns if you need to. We stopped at the local Indian restaurant because I strongly prefer fresh flatbread, but then they needed to be trimmed down to size which was wasteful. I would certainly be willing to try supermarket naan in smaller sizes–maybe heat it up first? Follow whatever instructions the packages have for serving warm.
The recipe I am providing below is for the Masala Peas. For the overall experience, you just need bread or a roll (naan preferred), a grilled hot dog (or boiled but I always prefer grilled), the Masala Peas, some caramelized onions (Simply Recipes has a great recipe for caramelizing if you are new to it), and some chopped cilantro. That’s it. Oh and maybe a taco rack so your child does not have to hold the “bun” closed while you take a photo!
- 2 T avocado oil
- 2 t mustard seeds
- 2 t cumin seeds
- 1 small-med red onion chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 inch piece of ginger minced
- 1 t ground cumin
- 2 t ground coriander
- 2 t garam masala
- 1/4 t turmeric
- 1/4 t paprika or cayenne
- 5 small-medium tomatoes peeled if convenient, chopped
- 3-4 T brown sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 c 2% greek yogurt
- 10 oz bag frozen peas
- Heat the oil with the mustard seeds over medium high heat in a medium sized heavy pan (I used a 4 quart Dutch oven). Place a lid ajar over the pot and listen for the mustard seeds popping. When the popping slows, add the cumin seeds and stir. Watch closely because cumin seeds burn easily; let them roast in the oil until medium brown and fragrant.
- Add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Keep a cup of water by the stove so that if the onions start to scorch or stick you can toss in a tablespoon or two of water to deglaze the pan.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Stir. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until quite fragrant.
- Add the chopped tomatoes (I always peel my frozen ones because it is easy, but if using fresh I don't personally think it is worth it).
- Bring the tomatoes to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Let it cook this way, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let cook another 5 minutes.
- Place the yogurt in a medium sized bowl. Add some masala to it and stir. Repeat until the yogurt is warmed through.
- Turn the heat all the way down on the masala, and mix the yogurt in. Taste for sugar and salt. Mix in the peas. Let cook on the lowest setting--do not let it come to a full boil--until the peas are heated through.
- Serve on hot dogs!