Over Christmas, we usually try to throw a lunch party (isn’t seeing the people we love the stuff of life?) and we often visit the Indian sub-continent for inspiration, with my father such an avid fan of Madhur Jaffrey. When the weather is cold, I find that toasting and grinding fragrant spices is warming and comforting – like these fragrant sausage rolls.
Indian-spiced sausage rolls
These richly spiced sausage rolls can be made in advance and frozen – delicious with red onion marmalade or a chutney.
Prep 10 min
Cook 25 min
Makes 30 or so
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
320g pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk
1 tsp fennel seeds, to decorate
For the spice mix
1 thumb of fresh ginger, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp garam masala
¼ – ½ tsp chilli powder – to taste
2 tbsp tomato puree
Start with the spices. Finely slice the ginger and chop finely with the garlic. In a small pan, warm the oil over a medium heat and fry the onion for seven or eight minutes, until soft.
Meanwhile, gently toast the cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds in a small, dry frying pan over a medium heat for a minute or two, until they smell fragrant, then grind in a mortar or spice grinder. Add the garlic, ginger and all the spices to the onions, and saute for four to five minutes more to soften the garlic and ginger.
Finally, stir in the tomato puree, remove from the heat, season well and turn the mixture out on to a plate to cool. If you are going to cook the sausage rolls right away, heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4.
Once the onion mix is cool, stir in the sausagemeat and breadcrumbs. Fry a little of the mixture in a pan to check the seasoning – you may want to add a pinch more salt. Now remove the pastry from the fridge, put on a floured surface and cut in half lengthways. Divide the sausagemeat in half and roll into two long sausages. Put a sausage along the length of each pastry and brush the long edges with egg wash. Roll the pastries around the meat and press the pastry together where it meets, using a fork to crimp the edges. Brush all over with egg wash, sprinkle with fennel seeds and cut into mini rolls about the thickness of a walnut – any thinner and they will fall over in the oven. At this stage, you can freeze them, separating the layers with parchment paper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden, and serve with red onion marmalade, chutney or simply by themselves.