Pepper Steak


pepper steakIf you watch the Food Network then I’m sure you’ve seen Aarti Sequeira’s show, Aarti Party. I am honored that Aarti asked me to review her gorgeous new cookbook! Today, I’m sharing her recipe for pepper steak sandwiches!

Aarti’s book, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul, is absolutely beautiful. Not only will the photographs make your mouth water, the stories inside will warm your heart. This book is filled with anecdotes about Aarti’s life, her love of family, and her time on The Next Food Network Star. I remember watching the entire season that Aarti was on the show. I was rooting for her because I so badly wanted an Indian cooking show on the network. Even though I follow a Paleo diet now, I still enjoy watching her on TV for her fun and bubbly personality. Her energy just makes me smile.

While this book is not grain-free or Paleo-friendly, it does include recipes that can be easily adapted to a grain-free diet. Here are just a few recipes that are either Paleo or can be easily adapted: masala shrimp, salmon en papillote with mustard-sizzled peach salad, roasted whole fish with tamarind-herb salsa verde, tamarind-glazed baby back ribs, chai-brined pork chops, ground lamb kebabs with pomegranate molasses glaze, meatball curry,
pan-seared duck breasts with black pepper-port cherry sauce.

For those of you who can tolerate soaked legumes and resistant starch every now and then, there are also plenty of lentil and rice dishes!

I’m excited about trying the “Hypocrite’s Lobster Roll” next – I plan on using my 3-ingredient Paleo Naan instead of the hot dog buns that her recipe calls for. I’ll also definitely be making her “Iron Chef Shrimp” – she says Chef Symon said was “the best food he’d had on the competition in the years he’d been judging it.”

If you’re interested in buying a copy of Aarti’s new book, you can do so by visiting this page! Hope you enjoy her recipe for “mummy’s pepper steak sandwiches!” Oh, and don’t forget to use my Paleo Naan or my Hamburger Bun for the sandwich bread 🙂

Pepper Steak

Pepper Steak

5 from 1 review
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Servings 4


  • 1 pound sirloin petite roast or sirloin fillets
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • whole cloves
  • 1 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced into ¼-inch half-moons
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 large ripe tomato sliced into 1-inch wedges
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and soft stems


  • Slice the sirloin against the grain into ½-inch slices, then flatten the slices with either the back of your knife or a meat mallet until they’re a little over ¼ inch thick. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Grind the peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick in a spice grinder into a fine powder. Tap the spice mixture into a small bowl and add the cayenne, vinegar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, stirring to produce a wet, sand-like paste.
  • Massage this paste onto the beef, making sure that every piece is equally covered, and set aside on a plate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until the onion is softened and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onion turns a soft amber and smells sweet, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Arrange the onions in an even layer and place the beef over the onions in an even layer. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the underside has browned slightly and the onions have started releasing their juices.
  • Stir it all together and cook for a minute more. Add the tomato and cook, stirring every now and then, until the tomato begins to wilt and the skin rolls back from the flesh a little, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the whole thing sit for 5 minutes, so that the tomato can melt a little more and make a light gravy. Add the water and scrape the bottom of the pan to create more gravy. Finish with cilantro.


Copyright © 2014 by Aarti Sequeira
Used with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Nikita says

    This looks yummy!! Thank you so much. We love steak but it is always so hard to cook it well. Which meat thermometer do you use???
    Thanks ❤️