This recipe has made a welcome re-appearance in our house having not been made for several years. It is relatively simple to make, with the very little extra work of cooking with fresh/frozen ginger, garlic and ground spices being well worth it: it beats a ready made sauce from a jar any day! You know exactly what you are putting into your dinner so you can control and exclude any additives. I stopped making this recipe when my children were smaller as I had to try to make two panfuls, one for those who liked it spicy and one with little or no spices and it all became too complicated. I am so glad we can eat it again!
The recipe comes from my original copy of the excellent Madhur Jaffrey‘s Indian Cookery, which accompanied the BBC series in the early 1980’s. The title in the book is Pork Chiplotas cooked in an Indian Style: rather a mouthful (albeit a delicious one) so I decided to shorten it! (This book is still available, I believe, having been updated several times.) I have cooked entire Indian themed meals for friends from this and other books of Indian recipes, not always as much extra effort as it seemed. This recipe is more ‘homely’ than ‘dinner party’, though it would be good to serve to a friend as a simple meal. I have just made a couple of changes and have used more onion than the original. I tend to use best quality thick pork sausages as I usually have them in the freezer rather than the chipolatas originally suggested. The original recipe calls for 8ozs chipolatas, but I allow more per person. The original recipe calls for courgettes, but I often substitute okra as in the picture – either are equally good. As it cooks okra exudes a thick liquid and as it does it becomes soft. It is extra important that you do not cook the okra for longer than suggested and that it still retains some of its crispness rather than becoming too soft and sticky. I always serve the meal with either Basmati rice (better than ordinary long grain if you can get it) and/or Naan bread. If you wish, the ginger & garlic mixture can be made in a larger quantity, frozen in ice cube trays and used as required.
Alternatives: Vegetarian Variation or Side Dish
Grill the sausages instead of frying them so that no meat juices are cooked into the spicy onion/tomato mixture and cook non-meat sausages for the vegetarian diner. Separate a portion of the spicy mixture. Mix the hot chopped non-meat sausages into this, stirring the chopped pork sausages into the remainder. Alternatively you could use cubed paneer/panir/ponir (a non melting Indian cheese) in place of the vegetarian sausage. This cheese mixture would also make a alternative or side dish as part of a larger meal.
Pork Sausages Indian Style
2.5cm/1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled & coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
225g/8ozs small courgettes or okra, topped, tailed & in 1inch lengths
1tsp sunflower oil
6/8 thick pork sausages depending on size (10/12 chipolatas)
1 large onion peeled & chopped
1tsp ground cumin seeds
¼tsp cayenne pepper
225g/½lb tomatoes, peeled & finely chopped or 225g/½lb can plum tomatoes
1. Put the ginger, garlic and 4tbsp water into the container of a food processor or blender and blend until you have a paste. (If you do not have a blender then chop them together as finely as possible and add the water separately.)
2. Courgettes: Wash, quarter lengthwise and cut strips into 4cm/1½inch lengths.
Okra: Wash, remove the stalk end and cut into aproximately 4cm/1½inch lengths.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the sausages, turning as necessary until they are brown. Remove and put on a plate.
4. Put the onions in the same oil. Stir and fry gently until they turn translucent and begin to brown. Add the ginger/garlic paste. Stir and fry for a minute. Add the cumin and cayenne. Stir a few times, then add the tomatoes and stir for a further minute.
5. Add the courgettes or okra and salt. Bring the pan to a simmer, cover, then turn heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. (See note above about cooking time for okra.)
6. Cut the sausages into 3 or 4 pieces each, depending on size and add them to the pan. Cover and cook until reheated. This may take up to a further 5 minutes, but we like our courgettes and okra to remain a little crisp.
7. Serve with Basmati rice and/or Naan bread