We take you on a trail down the length of Mumbai tracking places that do the best choriz pao, or poi, if you will
From the cart
A legendary cart tucked away in the streets of Malad is popular for its authentic and humble Goan preparations. A favourite among them is the Goan sausage burger, which is made with pork marinated overnight in homemade masalas. It's tossed with onion and potato to add an extra bite to the dish.
Time: 6 pm to 10.30 pm
At: Goan Cart, Tank Road, Malad West.
Cost: Rs 80
A family affair
Sheldon Fernandes, the owner of a family-run restaurant in Malad, with a title that is a conjoined abbreviation for Mangalore and Goa, says they source their sausages from a Goan relative. "Back there, this dish is normally in the form of sorpotel stuffed in poi. But we do a chilly fry here since not everyone likes sorpotel, which has liver in it. It's a soggy version, so we keep the onions a bit raw to add some crunch,"he says, adding that the bread is available in three forms — hot dog, pav, and poi.
Time: 11.45 am to 3.15 pm; 7 pm to 11.30 pm
At: Mangoes, Orlem, Malad West.
Cost: Rs 100
Bar bar khao
The Den, a cult bar in Bandra, has been packing in the crowds for years. But we wonder how many of the regulars know about the mean choriz pao they make. Not too many, is our guess, and even fewer people are aware of the twist that this version has — coconut vinegar. This unusual addition makes the dish different from all the rest on our list. In fact, a Goan colleague at work even raised a dubious eyebrow about the authenticity of the recipe, after we had it delivered to work. "It's not even the same colour as choriz,"he said suspiciously. But then he had a bite, and took another one. So authentic or not, the vinegar adds a sourness to it that sits well on the palate. It's influence is so strong that the fragrance reaches your nose even before you've taken a bite. And the dish makes for an ideal accompaniment to the beer that the bar's patrons are known to guzzle.
Time: 4 pm to 1 am
At: The Den, Prabhat Kunj, Khar West.
Cost: Rs 350
Pork for the soul
Meldan D'Souza, owner of Bandra's inconspicuously placed and beloved eatery, Soul Fry, says it's important to know where your Goan sausages are coming from. "Sausages are tricky and making them involves a tedious process, so nobody here really makes it. We source ours from Goa,"D'Souza reveals. "The other thing we need to be careful about is the consistency."In his kitchen, the dish is made with choriz, Goan sausage masala and onion. They also add a little bit of pork to elevate the
dish and make it meatier. And we
Time: 12 pm to 3 pm, 7 pm to 1 am
At: Soul Fry, Pali Hill, Bandra West.
Cost: Rs 410
Keeping it simple
This one's the most straight-up choriz pao on the list. Roger D'souza, the owner of the takeaway where it's served, tells us that he sources the sausages from Goa and boils them in a pressure cooker. After that, he fries onions, tomatoes and capsicum in the oil that the sausages contain, adds the boiled meat, makes a chilly fry out of it and packs it between two paos. Simple, and delicious.
Time: 12 pm to 3 pm; 8 pm to 11 pm
At: That Goan Guy, Boran Road, Bandra West.
Cost: Rs 220
Light is right
A choriz pao can be a meal in itself, considering how spicy and filling the meat is. On top of that, the actual Goan version of the pao is made with wholewheat bread, yeast and bran, making the dish even heavier. But the SoBo branch of a restaurant chain does a lighter version of it, where they make the pao with refined flour. They also add capsicum to the Goan sausages, outside of the usual green chillies, tomatoes, potatoes and onions.
Time: 8.30 am to 11 am; 12 pm to 12 am
At: The Sassy Spoon, Ramnath Goenka Marg, Nariman Point.
CostL: Rs 390
The creamy layer
The Anton is a choriz bagel that's named after the Goan supplier the sausages are sourced from. Anil Kably, the owner of The Bagel Shop where it's served, tells us, "He's based in old Goa and he wood-smokes his sausages, which is not something everyone does. And when we found him there was a small smokehouse outside his house, with strings of sausages hanging and a wood fire below."At Kably's eatery, those very sausages are packed in a bagel, with a layer of cream cheese balancing the spice out.
Time: 9 am to 11.30 pm
At: The Bagel Shop, Carter Road, Bandra West.
Cost: Rs 409
Pork, East Indian style
Bhandup-based home chef Alefiya Jane stresses that the version she serves is different from its Goan variant. Goans and East Indians share common ancestry because of the Portuguese, but the cuisines have taken different trajectories, she explains. "The choriz pao out of my kitchen differs from the regular kind because I use bottle masala,"she elaborates. Jane also uses tomato, potato and onion which gives the dish a tangy-sweet twist and is far apart from the way authentic Goan choriz is prepared, which only makes use of onions, and lots of it. "I also add a dash of vinaigrette," she shares.
Time: 11 am to 11 pm
At: The Bottle Masala.
Call: 9819497112 (pre-order 24 hours prior)
Cost: Rs 150 (per portion); Rs 1,500 (per kg filling)
Pig out on other dishes
*Choriz rice is a spicy Mexican rice-based dish served with a fried egg. AT Imbiss, Bandra.
* The pickled Goan choriz pizza is a tangy fave. AT Woodside Inn, Colaba.
* The choriz burger is a classic East-meets-West delicacy.
AT Brunch 'N' Munch, Malad West.
* For a homestyle treat in your PJs, try the Goan sausage pulao. AT Fernandes Aunty, Bandra West.
* To relish slow-cooked rosary sausages, try the Margao
choriz pao AT The Bombay Vintage, Colaba.
By Shunashir Sen and Suman Mahfuz Quazi
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