If I needed another reason to bolster my belief that Bangalore is one of the great food cities of India then the pork sausages from the Bangalore Ham Shop did so last night.
Last time I was in Bengaluru Mr D, who lived there for a while, tweeted me from Mumbai saying that I should go to the Bangalore Ham Shop and pick up the sausages there. Now the venerable Mr D is someone who has proved his acumen when it comes to food picks and knows his pork too. His recommendation on food is something I would take seriously. Problem was that I was based in Malleshwaram in Bengaluru while the Ham Shop is in MG Road. Traffic and a tight schedule meant I couldn’t make it there.
Day before yesterday D got in touch with me out of the blue. He had apparently gone to Bengaluru on a day trip and had picked up a pack of spiced pork sausages from the Bangalore Ham Shop for me!
These sausages, as he explained, are cooked and not cured sausages. They have to be kept frozen till cooked. He worked out a plan so that he could give me the sausages on the way to work yesterday. So I met him at 10 am at Bandra on his way to the ad agency that he heads and picked up the sausages from him.
The pack gave clear instructions on how to cook them and D told me too. The pack said that the sausages had a shelf life of 3 months but I couldn’t wait that long and decided to cook them last night itself. To make it a complete meal I thought of cooking them with potatoes. Sausages and potatoes after all are a pair made in heaven.
So I got Banu to parboil some potatoes and cube them. I planned to cook them in the fat of the sausages with just some basic seasoning. After all as Marco Pierre White said on Masterchef Australia, “the more you do to food, the more you take away from it”.
The pack and Di said that the sausages have to be boiled and than fried in their own fat. So this is what I did.
- I boiled the sausages in a sauce pan in about a cup of water for about 10 minutes.
- The water didn’t evaporate though the pack said it would so I drained out the water.
- Then in the same pan I put the sausages in and switched on the gas
- I poked holes with a fork on the upper surface of the sausages and saw the fat ooze out
- I then took the potatoes, which I had seasoned with a bit of salt and zatar (you could use crushed pepper too or maybe rosemary) and added it to the pan with the sausages
- I then turned the sausages around and poked the other surface with a fork. More fat oozed out and the sausages and potatoes cooked in this.
- I snipped the skin connecting the sausages so that they became singles
- I occasionally and slowly turned them in the pan and let them cook for about ten minutes
- The dish was ready
Both K and I took a bite of the sausages and were over the moon. The sausages had a lovely chopped and rough texture, very meaty with the nutmeg, cardamom and pepper giving it a very prominent spiced feel. These were easily the best sausages I have had in India. Come to think of it, I can’t recall having had better sausages than these ever anywhere!
The potatoes complimented the sausages perfectly. The browned bits of the potatoes were particularly divine.
Sir, you are indeed the wise one, Mr D. I now want to go back to Bangalore.
Here’s an article in the Bangalore Mirror on Bangalore Ham Shop. It’s apparently around 80 years old
This is what Minoo Verghese had to say on the Bangalore Ham Shop on the Porkaholics facebook page:
Minoo Verghese Factoid: This excellent sausage recipe was given to Mr.Anjinappa - remembering his decrepit red Merc ? jalopy - at the Ham Shop round the corner by Koshy's and for many years was exclusively made for their restaurant, now freely available double yum Used to be called "Koshy special" without the current plastic packing.
This is how the pork sorceress Gia cooks it according to the same page
Gia Claudette Fernandes These are the best! They even have a green masala version, which is also delicious. Been years since I've had them tho. Trying to get my hands on them for so long now that I may just make a trip down to Bangalore just for these sausages. I like them with lots and lots of onions, fried in the fat that oozes out when you prick the sausages.
Since Candies was shut on Monday I couldn’t get a baguette from their so I picked up a Theobroma baguette from Godrej Natures Basket. It sucked compared to the Candies one. Their sandwich bread is quite ok but the Candies Baguette is leagues ahead.