Choriz, or Goa-Sausage as its better known, can be an acquired taste thanks to its pungent, vinegary flavor. It’s origins are a combination of Portuguese cooking techniques (salting and smoking pork sausages – chouriço), and strong Indian spices (similar to the ones we’d use in an achaar / pickle). There are quite a few different ways to cook Choriz, but if you’re looking for a way to mellow out the spice and vinegar, while still being able to enjoy the unique flavor, Goa-Sausage Pulav is the recipe for you!
I usually make this dish for a family gathering or when we are having people over, typically to feed 6 – 8. Go ahead and use half quantities indicated, if you are making this to serve 3 – 4 instead. There are a couple of things to getting this pulao right: 1) Be generous with the amount of onion and tomato, so that it can tone down the strong masala from the Choriz, and 2) Use an aged, long grained basmati rice; the strong masala again, needs a robust grain that can stand up to it. I’ve tried using a short grained, delicate rice with this recipe; basmati just works better.
Recipe: Choriz Pulao
- A large heavy bottomed pot with a lid
- 3 tbs Oil [any neutral oil, sunflower, etc.]
- 3 large Onions [1 halved and cut into thin slices and the other 2 chopped fine]
- 5 medium-sized Tomatoes [chopped]
- 2 tsp crushed Garlic
- 1 tsp crushed Ginger
- 2 Green Chilies [slit]
- 2 Bay Leaves [dried]
- 4 Cloves
- 1 inch-long-piece Cinnamon
- 2 pods Green Cardamon
- 0.5 kilogram Choriz / Goa-Sausage
- 3 cups long grained Basmati Rice
- 4.5 cups Water [recently boiled]
- 1 tsp Coconut Vinegar [alternate: use regular white vinegar]
- 1 cup Coriander / Cilantro Leaves [roughly chopped]
- 1 cup Mint Leaves [roughly chopped]
- 1 cup Curd / Yogurt [for the Raita]
- .5 cup of chopped Onion and Cucumber [finely chopped, for the Raita]
- Wash and soak 3 cups of basmati rice; you want to ensure that it’s been soaking for at least an hour before you begin to cook it.
- Wash and slice / chop all of the vegetables and herbs. To prepare the Choriz, slit them down the middle and then squeeze out the little pieces of meat1.
- This next step is completely optional, a little something extra for special occasions. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a heavy bottomed pot/large pressure cooker, and sauté the sliced onions until they turn a light golden brown2. Transfer the golden onions to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off oil. Its alright if they seem soft at this point, just spread them out well enough on the kitchen paper and they will crisp up as they cool.
- To the same pot, add one more tbs of oil, followed by the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Once the oil turns fragrant, add the crushed ginger and garlic and sauté on a low flame until they just begin to brown.
- Add 2 chopped onions and salt to the pot; cook for about 5 mins on a medium heat until they turn shiny and translucent. Now add the 5 chopped tomatoes, another pinch of salt and simmer (with a lid on) until the tomatoes soften3.
- Next, add the Choriz to the tomato mix, stir well, cover and allow to simmer for at least 25 mins, until they look cooked through and most of the fat from the sausages has rendered4.
- Drain and add the rice to the sausage masala; stir fry for about a minute. Now add 4.5 cups of recently boiled water5 to the pot, followed by the chopped mint, coriander and slit green chilies.
- Add a tsp of vinegar and check the seasoning. Add a little salt if necessary. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low hear for 12 minutes.
- Gently fluff the pulao using two forks. Transfer into a serving dish, interspersing with fried onions. Serve hot, with a simple onion and cucumber raita on the side.
- To make the raita, beat the curd or yogurt with a little salt in a bowl; combine with chopped cucumber and onion. Add a little water to the raita if you prefer a thinner consistency.
1Choriz in all its glory, then slit and finally the pickled pieces of pork once extracted from their casings.
2Here’s what the light-golden-brown fried onions should look like.
3This is what the translucent onions and softened tomatoes need to look like.
4Here’s a before and after comparison of the Goa-Sausage/ Choriz being cooked through
5I insist on recently boiled water to get the texture of the rice just right! Adding cold water to the hot pot will take the cooking temperature down and it will take much longer for the rice to come to a boil and cook. This will result in mushy rice.
Let me know if you need any more instructions in the comments below. This old Goan family favorite is definitely the best way to try the humble Choriz for the first time.🖖