What does a self respecting Catholic do on a Sunday? Well, we eat copious amounts of food, feed others and grin as we drift into what that beautiful thing called the siesta. One of the things that aids in this single-minded weekend obsession is the Goan sausage. It is by far the best legacy left behind by the POrtuguese. Well, that and potatoes. And tomatoes. And chillies.
THe thing is, you can’t really go wrong with the Goan Sausage. It is so lovingly tended to, spiced, aged, dried and tied, that all that’s left for you to do is add it to any possible dish and you’ve got magic in the kitchen. Believe me, it’s good enough a reason to start eating meat. I mean, you can’t add cabbage to a dish and expect anything interesting to come out of it other than soggy cabbage. But with the sausage- well, it’s got just the right amount of tang from the local vinegar, fat from the animal and an amazing blend of spices and chillies that sort of make a dish evolve in a matter of minutes to something quite delectable.
All you need to do is add it to a screaming hot pan with a splash of water to boil it/steam it Or the way I like it- stir fry it with onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Or simply render it in a hot pan with a smidgen of oil till the skin crispens and almost goes black with delirious yumminess.
Now the pulao is one of the ways to make a boring, uninspiring cook day seem so much brighter. The principal of the pilaf remains the same as any other.
The proportion of water to rice stays the same- adding maybe a tablespoon more. Most people make it by simply adding the sausages to the rice, bunging it into a pressure cooker or a pan and waiting for that aroma to fill the house. My method involves a little more love and patience, but believe me, it’s guaranteed to make you or your guests ask for seconds, thirds and in the absence of it- act like greedy kids reaching out for the last slice of cake.
My secret ingredient? It’s a little bit of vindaloo paste and a few veggies like leeks and carrots. And yes, good fatty Goan Sausages. If anyone tells you their Goan sausages are all meat and no fat, I’d step away very quickly and pretend I didn’t know them. THe fat is half the flavour of the sausage and there’s no getting around that! The homemade Goan Sausages are often called Rosary sausages, because as opposed to the pre packaged ones, these are tied in small rounds that resemble the beads of the Holy Rosary.
Goan Sausage Pulao Recipe
Cook time- 20 minutes (or 3 whistles in an Indian PRessure COoker)
Prep time -10 minutes
25 Beads of Rosary Sausage.
1 cup onion finely chopped
3/4 cup tomato finely chopped
1 inch stick of cinnamon
1 green cardamom
1/2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 tablespoon vindaloo paste
2-3 green chillies broken in half
1 cup Basmati rice