The chorizo rice in Imbiss, a meat-focused restaurant in Mumbai, is a best-selling dish there.
People can’t seem to get enough of this quail egg topped rice which is bursting with the spicy flavours of chorizo. The folks at Imbiss seemed to have struck a winning formula with its chorizo rice. Imbiss has a small outlet in Bandra in Mumbai and a bigger one in Colaba.
I remembered the chorizo rice of Imbiss when I tried the chorizo pulao at Farzi Café in Gurgaon’s Cyber City. Chef Saurabh of Farzi has cleverly used this piquant cured meat from Europe in a traditional Indian pulao to come up with a dish that tickles the Indian palate and offers a fresh take on the classic pulao.
In fact Goan choriz pulao is a staple dish for the Catholic community of Goa. Locally made Goan sausage, more sour and heaty than European choriz, is used in the Goan version of the pulao. Chef Saurabh says that he doesn’t use Goan sausage at Farzi because of sourcing problems.
This didn’t stop Chef Manu Chandra of Monkey Bar though. He gets his stock of Goan sausage from Goa and offers traditional Goan sausage pao (buns) and sausage pot rice in his Monkey Bar Gastro Pubs in Bangalore, Delhi and now Mumbai.
You do get Goan sausage fairly easily in Catholic-run cold storages in places like Bandra and Wadala in Mumbai.
However, Anil Kably, owner of the Bagel Shop in Bandra, sources his Goan sausage from Goa at a place which he discovered during a music festival in Goa. He offers a cream cheese with chorizo (Goan sausage) bagel at the Bagel Shop which is a must try. Toning down the flavours with cream cheese means that even foreigners can handle this spicy meat with aplomb says Anil.
Smoke House Deli has introduced a Goan sausage and potato sandwich which is delectable and which can even be had with multi-grain bread which helps ease one’s conscience. They also have a very nice starter called chorizo picante made with Spanish chorizo tossed with potato cubes.
While Goan sausages are popular, Chef Aloysious of Bandra’s Villa Vandre, offers something that he calls ‘East Indian sausages’. This East Indian chef makes the sausages himself. He says that East Indian sausages are not the same as Goan sausages as they are less spicy and less fatty. He serves the sausages on a bed of mash and tops it with a fried egg. Possibly influenced by the Parsi side of his wife’s family!
Wonder what’s next on the chorizo experimentation stakes.
Photo credit: Monkey Bar
Kalyan Karmakar authors the popular award winning blog, Finely Chopped and is an authority on the food of Mumbai. His extensive knowledge of the city's food scene has been featured in publications such as Femina, Mumbai Mirror and BCC Good Food. He was one of the founding critics of EazyDiner's Mumbai team.