Chorizo, chourizo, choriz, choris, or sausage
Thanks to the Portuguese, chourico (choriz/choris) de Goa is an essential dish for Goan Catholics. In the 16th century, the Portuguese brought chilies, pork, and potatoes, among other things, and their recipe for homemade chorizo. Before refrigeration, this highly spiced sausage was made with dried meat stuffed into casings.
Today this highly seasoned cured sausage is eaten in many ways: as street food, served to unexpected guests in homes, eaten at tea time, as a part of breakfast, and made for dinner in a stew or curry.
Fresh v.s. preserved
Contrary to Mexican chorizo, which is fresh and uncooked, homemade chorizo was traditionally made to preserve meat. Goans continue to love this highly spiced sausage, with lots of vinegar, and feni (a liquor made from either the toddy palm or the fruit of the cashew nut). Since feni isn’t easy to find, you can use tequila or some dry white wine.
I have streamlined this recipe so that a home cook can easily make this sausage. No grinding of pork and fat, unless you want to. If that would make you happy, I suggest you follow Dan Toombs’s The Curry Guy’s Goan sausage recipe. He starts with 2 kilos of slab bacon, thus solving the meat to fat ratio question.
Hot and zingy
A native Goan will be used to the fiery vinegary punch of this chorizo, but I have tamed down the amount of vinegar and chilies for my palate. If you know Goan chorizo and like its flavor profile, double the amount of vinegar and chilies.
Because this sausage is so highly seasoned, in Goa, they keep it in jars in the refrigerator for two to three months. Please know that my homemade chorizo recipe does not lend itself to this level of preservation. If you do not want to cook and eat it within 3 days, wrap either the raw or cooked meat tightly, and store it in the freezer.
So many ways to go
The beauty of this homemade chorizo is that you can do so much with it. Flatten into burger-style patties and eat it on a bun with chutney and a nice stack of cabbage slaw. Or do as I do and served it as cute little sliders on a pao (pav, soft buns) or potato bun.
Tacos, pizza topping, make Nagi of recipetineats,com’ sausage rolls, wrap it into a roti or naan, or even stuff an empanada, stir into a frittata, fried rice, make the grilled cheese of your life, or serve instead of bacon with your eggs. The possibilities are endless.
Easy, peasy, but don’t forget to marinate!
How satisfying it is to make your own sausage. Even if one “cheats” by starting with a store-bought preparation.
Using mild Italian sausage or ground pork, which is ideally an 80% meat to 20% mix of fat (sausage is not diet food!), grind four whole spices together. Add it to the meat with some vinegar and tequila or wine, and you have Goan-style sausage.
If you start with plain ground pork, you will need a bit of salt, ground chili, and some yogurt. Since this sausage is so highly seasoned, a little goes a long way, and its vibrancy works beautifully as a topping or stuffing.
My version is certainly not authentic because I’ve dialed back on the vinegar and chilies, but it still full of Goan flavors. I hope you give this unique Goan specialty a go and let me know how it goes.
See the Notes below before you cook.
Indian Homemade Chorizo
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage ~ Or see Notes below for using ground pork
- 1 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ~ Or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tequila ~ Or feni, or dry white wine
- 4 whole Kashmiri red chilies ~ See Notes below
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick ~ 2 grams, 1 1/2 to 2-inches
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 cup ginger garlic paste ~ 2 tablespoons each garlic and ginger purée
- Gather your ingredients.
- In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the whole chilies and set aside in a bowl large enough to hold the ground meat. Grind the peppercorns, cloves, cumin, and cinnamon into a powder and add to the ground chilies.
- Stir in the vinegar and tequila and blend. You are wanting a thick but pourable consistency. Add a bit more tequila if necessary.
- Add the ground meat and ginger garlic paste to the spice mixture and blend thoroughly. This will take some time so don't hurry this step. You may want to use your hands or a fork.
- Cover the chorizo and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- IMPORTANT: After marination fry up a bit of the meat to test of seasonings, especially the heat (chilies) and acid (vinegar). I have dialed way back on both and you may feel you want more of each. Mix in more of either as your tastebuds dictate. Fry the sausage in any size patty or ball you want depending on how you will be using it.
- Serve with your favorite chutney (green or tamarind) or hot sauce, my slaw, and a quick red onion pickle listed in my shawarma recipe. See the Notes below for other ways to use your homemade chorizo.
- Use ground pork: Add: 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili AND 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 cup yogurt
- Chilies: These sausages are typically very spicy. I use 4 dried chilies but traditionally up to 10 are used. Even though Kashmiri chilies are on the mild side they do have some heat, so be conservative. Mix up the sausage, allow it to marinate, then fry up a bit so you can taste it for seasonings. You can always all more chili as you go.
- Ideas on how to use your homemade chorizo:
- Tacos, pizza topping, make Nagi of recipetineats.com’ sausage rolls, wrap it into a roti or naan, stuff an empanada, stir into a frittata, fried rice, make the grilled cheese of your life, or serve it instead of bacon with your eggs.