In these recessionary times, (or as my friend Mikael likes to call it, GD2, ie. Great Depression 2), it's nice to have some cheap meals in your arsenal. This recipe is one of my cheapest, and funnily enough, one of the most delicious. And yes, of course, there's a story.
This recipe came about as a result of my Dad's extensive travels, work trips that happened practically every month and which took him everywhere from Djibouti to Malaysia. He loved and hated it. So did we. We hated that he had gone away, but we loved the tradition it created. Dad, being a curry-and-rice stalwart, hardly ever indulged in fast food. Hence, when the cat was away, the mice made a beeline for Hardy's and Shakey's Pizza (hey, it was Dubai; there weren't a lot of fast food options).
The mother mouse (Rose) also experimented with fusing fast food fixin's with Indian food fixin's. Only my mum would think about slicing tubes of processed "meat" into pretty rounds and cooking them up with onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala and... ketchup. Yes ladies and gents, the glorious tangy sweet ketchup, that underestimated occupant in your quiver of kitchen arrows.
This weird combo of common and exotic became our favorite thing that Mum made, and she wisely sent me off to college with this recipe in hand.
I remember the first time I made it for Bren. I can still picture him sitting in the shabby kitchen of our Ridge & Davis apartment, looking at it with a puzzled look on his face. It was even more puzzled once he ate it. He looked up at me, saw my forlorn face and said, "It's just... I don't... get it." So I understand the face you're making at the thought of this combination. But give it a try: it's Bren's favorite now too.
I have made this for him countless times over the past 12 long years and each time, we disagree over what to call 'em: I call them sausages, but Bren says they're hot dogs. I suppose we could settle on calling them "frankfurters", but really, does that sound appetizing? It sounds like "farts".
In any case, I hope you try this. It's wicked easy and it really is delicious. I normally serve it stuffed into some warmed pita bread halves, with a crisp, green salad. I adapted it a little bit for our taste, adding some smoked paprika (pimenton) to fancy it up a bit, and some shredded carrots that I had in the fridge, but you don't need either. I've named this recipe as my Mum would always refer to it:
Sausages a la Rose!Serves 3
You'll need this stuff:
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 handful shredded carrots (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pimenton aka smoked paprika (optional)
1 large tomato, diced
1/8 cup ketchup
1 pkg hot dogs, sliced about 1/16" thick (I like Hebrew National; you can choose whether you like chicken, turkey or beef. Trader Joes also has some Niman Ranch ones that I used today, which are awesome)
Handful of cilantro, minced
1) Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling 1 tbsp canola oil until shimmering. Prep your onions, garlic and ginger whilst the oil is heating up.
2) Add onions, garlic, ginger and carrots, seasoning with salt and pepper. Saute until softened and slightly brown around the edges. Make sure your tomato is all chopped up and ready to go for the next step.
3) Add turmeric, garam masala and paprika's, quickly stirring for about 20 seconds to keep the spices from burning. Add tomatoes and stir. Cook until the mixture turns mushy.
4) Add ketchup, and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Cook 5 minutes.
5) Add hot dog rounds, stirring to cover with tomato mixture. Add 1/4 cup water if the mixture is too dry and cover. Simmer over medium-low heat 15 minutes.
6) Taste and season accordingly. Off heat, stir in cilantro. Serve!
Let me know if you try it!