Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aarti Cooks: Hot Dogs/Sausages a la Rose

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!



elizabeth said...

I can't wait to make this one! I couldn't make last weeks because it required too many ingredients that I didn't have on hand (thanks to GD2, I'm trying to use only what is already in my pantry). I substitute where I can. I'll actualy need to use powdered ginger instead of fresh on this one... not the same, I know, but I have the rest of the ingredients on hand. I'll let you know how it turns out.

FYI - I'll be calling them Dogs a la Rose. Carter just calls hot dogs "Dogs". I think it's cute and somehow makes hot dogs sound better.

aartilla the fun said...


a tip about fresh ginger -- it's pretty affordable if you buy a hunk of it... then peel it, slice it into coins and store it in the freezer. it'll last forever, and cooks up just the same as the fresh stuff.

thanks for trying it!

Sandra said...

Hilarious. I want to sample some of your home cooking. Sound yum. I like hotdogs and I love curry. hmmm

elizabeth said...

thanks for the tip, aarti! i don't mind buying ginger, it's just that it always goes bad before I can use it all and that seems a waste. I'll try freezing next time!

bodaat said...


Rosesq said...

Freezing ginger:

I prefer to chop it into small bits, so I can toss as much as I need straight into the pan.

Also, I spread the chopped ginger flat inside a freezer bag and when it is frozen, just shake it together to the bottom of the bag. It is handy to use this way as it is not clumped together into a big lump.
Just my way of doing things!!

elizabeth said...

Thanks, Rose!

Aarti - I also love that in the first picture on this post you can see Bren in the background as if he's going "enough with taking pictures of the food already. give it here!"

aartilla the fun said...

hahahaaha that is very close to the sentiments on that moment, yes!!

Goddess said...

I tried it today and it tasted amazing.. my brothers adore it. I pan fried the sausages before putting them into the masala to add the golden brown tinge. I also replaced the paprika (which i did not have) with chilli powder and it worked!! Great Recipe.. thanks!! :D

Goddess said...
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