Goan Sausage

My interest in food and cooking is known to most of my friends, family, and colleagues, and even students.  Towards the end of the term I bring some food, usually home-cooked, to the class on  a day when informal interactions are scheduled.  It is a pleasant way to conclude the semester.

Some students stay in touch after they graduate.  Some come and visit and we exchange notes as colleagues.  A special mention here is Ryan, who remembers to bring me foodie-things from his travels around the country; many times these are ingredients sourced from where they are grown (or brewed!).  Amongst the many gifts I have received from him are coffee from a Chikmagalur plantation, his aunt’s home-brewed plum wine, his mom’s fruitcake, Shrewsbury biscuits and ginger cookies from the famous Kayani bakery in Pune, toddy from Kerala, and Mahuwa (the drink!) from Madhya Pradesh.  Recently he brought me dried kokum and kokum syrup on his return from a visit to the Konkan.  He seems to be partial to the western coast; perhaps because of his ethnic roots.  Back from one such visit to the coast last year, he brought me a packet of Goan pork sausage.  Until then I had only read about it.

Remember I asked all of you to suggest recipes?  Raji had suggested I use it in a pulao, and Ryan shared a recipe for a curry cooked with the sausage and potatoes.  The Goan Chouriço, also known as linguica, is an important element in the Portuguese-influenced Goan Catholic cuisine.  Though often identified as a sausage, it is made with chopped pork instead of ground meat and cannot be consumed uncooked.  The prepared pork is combined with spices and vinegar, stuffed into cleaned cattle gut, and usually dried in the sun.  The resulting aged meat imparts a unique taste and aroma to whatever it is cooked with.

goan sausage

Once a much cherished family activity, few home-cooks today embrace the practice of chouriço making.   It can be bought off-the-shelf (in Bombay, Goa, and Pune) or through inside information of the few home-based practitioners that remain in Goa.  Here’s a recipe (with feni!) in case you want to try your hand at it.  Since it was my first time handling Goan Chouriço, I was surprised at how lumpy and unlike any other sausage the meat was once you ripped the outer skin to get to it.  It’s different but don’t let that discourage you.

goan sausage pulao

First, I tried it in a pulao.  I started with browning some sliced onions in hot oil.  To this I added the crumbled chouriço and sauteed that for a bit.  Then I stirred in the soaked and drained rice, salt and water.  Once it started to boil, I lowered the heat to a simmer, covered and cooked till the rice was done.  I let it stand for 20 minutes before fluffing up and mixing in a chopped green pepper.   I allowed it to sit for some more time so that the peppers would heat through before finally serving it.  Cooked this way I found the pork chewy and dry, but it did impart a unique flavour to the rice.

frying onions

carmalized onions

My preferred recipe was the chouriço and potato curry. Braised like this the meat bits were tender. Salt and season lightly when using Goan chouriço because it is well seasoned and spicy hot. I added some salt to the dish while cooking since I was combining the meat with potatoes but used chilli sparingly.

goan sausage with potatoes
Goan Chouriço and Potato Curry

6″ length of Goan chouriço
2 medium sized potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced
2 medium sized onions, chopped (about 3/4 C)
1 t ginger-garlic paste
1 t coriander powder
1/2 t cumin powder
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t red chilli powder (optional)
2 t vinegar (optional)
2T peanut oil
salt (remember that the sausage is salted)

Saute onions in hot oil till lightly browned. Add the ginger-garlic past and fry till the raw smell is gone. Add all the powdered spices and give a good stir. Add the meat, potatoes and two cups of water. Stir. Add salt and the vinegar (if you want it extra tart). Cover and simmer till the meat is tender and the potatoes are done. Stir a couple of times during the cooking process to keep the curry from sticking; top up with more water as needed to give you a thick curry. Serve with steamed rice accompanied by a plain dal (such as this one) or dahi (plain yoghurt).

goan sausage with potatoes 1

Published by Anita

A self professed urban ecologist!

7 thoughts on “Goan Sausage

  1. I love chorizo! I remember eating goan sausage at Britto’s in Goa and getting blown away by it. And then when I ate it at some Mexican restaurants in the US, I realized it was the same thing 🙂

    Do you remember how it was prepared – in a curry? So the Mexican sausageis chunky as well then.

    1. Wouldn’t call it a curry, more like sauted with spices but does have a mushy consistency. In Brito’s they served it with paav so one could dip the paav into juices of the chorizo yuminess! Here in the US I have had it in multiple forms – its added to soups, or served whole just grilled, or chopped into a pasta or a spread to eat with bread. In every form, it is a burst of flavor.

      I can imagine it paired with some good pav! Adding it to soup is a great idea too; will try that the next time I get my hands on some.

  2. Isn’t it cured meat? If it is cured, why would it need to be cooked before eating? Chorizo that is not cured, ie fresh sausage, must be cooked. But that is not sold unrefrigerated like this.

    There is some Goan sausage in my future! I cannot wait!

    It is definitely preserved meat with all that spicing and vinegar. It might have something to do with the chunky meat that is very dry. It is also not possible to slice it since the meat is not compacted – it just crumbles. On-line searches did not reveal any recipes for serving it uncooked. I will like to hear what you have to say once you lay your hands on some soon!

  3. Fascinating sausage! I love both the Mexican and Spanish versions- garlic/red chillies/cumin/souring agent seems to be the commonality in all- but no, I have never encountered a dried version before… But I would venture to guess that a dish something like rajma-chawal- slow-cooked beans- is made featuring the Goan variety- just my guess. And/or perhaps some kind of stew with vegetables and potatoes; therefore, I think your potato-chouriço is a fine-looking, intuitive reaction! And yes, it would be safe to eat without cooking as well for chewy nibbles- the salt and vinegar kept it stable until the moisture in the meat evaporated. Salt, wine or liquor is also sometimes used in curing non-saltpetre’d sausages when a sour taste is not wanted.

    Goan sausage uses feni sometimes!
    I would think it would be safe to eat, just too chewy to enjoy. Which was a problem in the pulao. I had hoped to try a good jambalaya recipe…

  4. This brings back childhood memories. When I was 12, I remember the November when I ate so much of this delicious goan sausage (in Mangalorean Konkani we call it lingisaan) that I was asked to lay off it thanks to the toxic collection in my tummy! Fun times.

    This curry you’ve made is yummy when eaten with pav or sannas 🙂

    Hi, Joylita! Nothing like food memories!
    I have to try it with pav next time!

  5. Goan sausages done the right way is a fantastic delicacy. You should pick it up from the ladies who sell it in Margao or from a known chouris seller. It should be chunky pieces with a goood mix of fat and meat and just the right amount of spice. Commercial packed stuff is not that good it is usually too finely minced, with some beef mince thrown into it to bulk it and too much of spices. You can saute it with fried onions, or a chilly fry with potatoes and onions similar to what you made. There is also a Feijoada we make with beans and of course the fagrant chouris pulao. In Goa we also get to eat it as a snack Chouris Pav. Though miles away from Goa, our freezer is always well stocked. Cant live without it.
    And please it cannot be eaten raw. You dont want to take a chance .. you can fall terribly ill.

    Hi, Angela! This sausage was quite chunky. So, there is a recipe with beans as Pel was guessing! I will try to get more whenever there is an opportunity!

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