Monday, February 24, 2014

Recipe : Gia's Choriz Pulao - Goan Sausage Pulao

I LOVE Choriz Pulao. The best ones I have ever had, are at O'Coqueiro and Martin's Corner in Goa. Every trip to Goa by me or my family would mean a nice little haul of Goan Sausages to be relished at home.

Goan sausages also called Choriz are an Indianised version of the Spanish Chorizo. This version involves drying and smoking pork chunks with Indian spices and vinegar.

My nana used to just sun dry them and store the sun dried pork in a bottle to be used when needed. She used to call in "lingis". Unfortunately, this is one of the recipes of hers that I never recorded, because at that time, I felt it was too laborious and she was always around to send me a bottle to fulfill my cravings.

Crescentia Fernandes and her husband Chris run a lovely Goan restaurant in Gurgaon called Bernardo's. Chowder Singh has recorded Crescentia's recipe and taken a video of the process, which is of immense help if you decide to make these sausages from scratch. Check the recipe and video - here.

Since my sausages are always store bought (even though I do occasionally find some excellent home made ones in the market), taste and quality tend to be iffy. Until you open a packet and start cooking with it, you really don't know what its going to taste like. Its quite a task to find a version whose salt, spice, vinegar, meat + fat balance you enjoy. Joao's is most consistent, otherwise its mostly hit and miss.

Now, while I have loved the Choriz Pulao, I've never been able to successfully replicate it. So I normally end up making a sausage and potato stirfry which is excellent as a starter or with pao bread or rice and dhal.

However, recently Gia Claudette Fernandes (I don't think she is directly related to Crescentia) shared her recipe for Choriz Pulao on one of my favourite foodie groups on facebook - Porkaholics!, so I couldn't wait to try it out.

Gia's recipe is extremely precise and I would recommend you following it. I am an eyeballing cook. Plus what I had was the rosary sausages (home made ones), so I really eye balled it.

I love using the sausage skins, so I fried them up first before adding the onions to crisp them up. I cooked it in a pan with a well fitted lid, but you can also use a pressure cooker.

Gia's recipe follows in her own words:

Gia Claudette Fernandes - Goan Sausage (Choriz) Pulao

3 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked in a lot of water for at least 30 mins
6 cups of hot water
1 packet of Goan sausage (500 gms)
4-5 large onions, thinly sliced


Put the raw onions into a non-stick or heavy-bottomed vessel. Tear open the sausage skins and remove the meat. Add this to the onions, separating the pieces with your fingers as you do this.

Put the pot/pan on high heat and mix the onions and sausage meat well. Do not add any extra oil, please! Toss continuously until the fat starts to melt and the onions get nicely fried in the oil. Do this for at least 10 to 15 mins until the onions become soft. Control the heat and reduce the flame when it gets too hot. You don’t want to burn the mixture.

When the sausages and onions are fried and the oil starts to separate, it’s time to add the rice. Drain away the water it was soaked in and add the rice. Mix well with the sausage-onion mix. Fry for 2-3 mins. Now pour in the hot water and stir. Check for seasoning, if you need more salt, add it. I like to add 1-2 Maggi stock cubes at this stage (veg or chicken). This adds extra flavour and balances the heat from the sausages. If you’re using the stock cubes, it’s a good idea to first dissolve them in the hot water that you’re supposed to add to the rice.

When it comes to a boil, turn the heat to sim and cook with the lid on for 8-10 mins (depending on your rice). Try and place a heavy object on the lid so that the steam doesn’t escape. After 8-10 mins, turn it off and don’t open for at least 10-15 mins.

Before serving, lightly fluff with a rice fork so that the grains do not get stuck.

You can also reserve some of the sausages and fry separately. Then mix into the pulao just before serving.

This is best had by itself when it’s piping hot. I still haven’t found anything that complements this dish well, except for chilled beer!

Bon Apetite!

The result was perfect, I used the soup cube and it helped tone down the sharpest flavours of the choriz. The husband doesn't normally like choriz too much, he finds the flavours too strong, especially the home made ones. But he loved this pulao.

Thanks a ton Gia!


Gia Fernandes said...

Hi Karishma,

Once again, thanks for considering my recipe worthy enough to be tried out and then featured on your lovely blog. I am truly honoured.

I've really enjoyed reading your post and I identify with how you felt about documenting your Nana's recipes. One of my biggest regrets is that I never wrote down a single recipe of my Granny's :(

And no I'm not related to any Claudette (who are you referring to?), that's my middle name :) As you know, we Catholics have our long drawn-out names... LOL!

Cheers to you and kudos for maintaining such a treasure trove of recipes and food stories.

Karishma Pais said...

Hi Gia,

Thanks so much.

My husband also thanks you for making choriz palatable for him. I'm not too sure if thats a good thing, because now I'll have to SHARE. LOL

I meant Crescentia, I've corrected it above. sorry.

Gia Fernandes said...

No worries :)

Star hotels in calicut said...

nice recipe..I love cooking
I will prepare it soon..!

Efony Fernandes said...

Simply scrumptious :-)

Anonymous said...

Karishma, thanks a ton for putting this online... Was looking for a different way to cook goan sausages barring the usual fry... Tried it out today and was mouth watering... Great recipe Gia :) Makes me miss Goa even more...

Thanks again,

Karishma Pais said...

Glad you enjoyed it Efony & Sheena :)


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