Persian spicy sausage served with saffron roasties
I happened upon this dish while I was researching Iranian street food, trying to find the delicacies I had eaten during my travels around Iran in 2004. Now, being a British national, I love a sausage! Usually wrapped in puff pastry and from a good old fashioned bakery. So when this popped up during my investigations, I was delighted – an Iranian sausage dish that was spicy and quick to cook.
Sosis Bandari translated is sausage from the port or port-style sausage. ‘Sosis’ is the Persian word for sausage, and ‘Bandar’ means port. Apparently this dish was invented in one of the northern ports of Iran, called Bandar Anzali where the first sausages were introduced from Iran (probably from Turkey). However it became trendy among southern port residents, and the dish is now associated with Southern Iran. Iranians who live in the south of Iran mostly eat spicy and hot foods and this dish packs a punch due to their revisions to the original recipe.
There are a number of variations to the recipes with many including potatoes in the spicy mixture. It is commonly served in a baguette-style bread like the Iranian equivalent of a sausage and chip butty. My recipe extracts the potatoes and cooks them separately by making them into saffron flavour roasties to be eaten as a side dish and dipped into harrissa mayonnaise.
I love this dish as it is so easy to cook. The cooking time below is due to the roasted new potatoes but the sosis bandari part only takes about 20 minutes to cook and to be ready to stuff into a roll. I don’t bother removing my sausage from the pan and separately frying the onions and the peppers like other people do – I just chuck it all in for speed, less washing up and it further allows for the peppers and onion to retain a crunch.
The main reason the dish is quick to cook is down to the type of sausage used. I use sucuk – a Turkish sausage which is a dry, spicy and fermented sausage consisting of ground beef, garlic and other spices. They are encased in a red skin, which I peel off before cooking the sausage. You can buy these from most Middle-Eastern food shops. If you cannot source sucuk, then you can use any other type of sausages you want including vegetarian or vegan.
If you are using your local supermarket raw sausages then I recommend cooking them first (as per the instructions on their packet) before slicing them up and adding them to the recipe below – this will also extend the cooking time below. Sucuk can just be sliced and cooked with the rest of the ingredients as per steps below.
I serve this dish as a sandwich with a rustic roll, a side of saffron roasties, dill pickles and some fresh herbs (as always). A cousin of mine recently mooted adding cheese to the sandwich which would also be an excellent addition.
For the Saffron Roasties
- 600 g new potatoes (halved – approx 150 grams per person)
- 1/8 tsp ground saffron
- Water to boil the potatoes
- 2 tbsp oil
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
For the Sosis Bandari
- 1 tbsp oil
- Approximately 300 grams of Sucuk Turkish sausages (remove outer skin / casing and slice diagonally) – see note above re: alternatives to sucuk
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
- 1 large red onion (finely sliced)
- 1 yellow pepper (finely sliced)
- 1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
- 100 g cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 100 ml water
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Fresh chopped parsley (to garnish)
For the Harrissa Mayonnaise
- 8 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp harrissa paste
- A squeeze of a fresh lime
- Prepare your harrissa mayo by combining the mayo, harrissa paste and lime juice in a small bowl. Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve the dish.
- Take a saucepan and fill with water, add the halved new potatoes and saffron. Turn the heat to high and bring the potatoes to a boil. Boil the potatoes for approximately 8 to 10 minutes - you want them cooked through but not too soft as they will fall apart in the roasting stage.
- While the potatoes are cooking in the saucepan, pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan) / 200°C (conventional) / Gas Mark 6.
- Turn the stove off and drain your potatoes.
- Take a baking tray and place the potatoes on it. Add the oil, salt and pepper and mix until the potatoes are evenly coated. Place the tray in the oven and roast the potatoes for 30 minutes or until crispy to your liking.
- While the potatoes are roasting, take a frying pan (about 30 cm diameter) and place on a medium to high heat.
- Add the sliced sausages to the pan, stirring them until they start to curl, then add the garlic.
- Add the turmeric and chilli and stir until evenly distributed.
- Add the sliced onions and pepper and stir until they start to soften.
- Add the tomato purée and stir until evenly distributed.
- Add your halved cherry tomatoes and stir.
- Add the water and stir and lower the heat to let the sosis bandari cook further gently for about 5 minutes. Season to taste and scatter some chopped fresh parsley over the top.
Serving the dish
- Turn the oven and stove off. Remove the potatoes from the oven and place them on a paper towel to soak up any excess fat.
- Fill your rolls / baguettes with the sosis bandari (sliced gherkins or dill pickles and / or cheese can also be included in the sandwich).
- Serve the sosis bandari sandwiches with a side of the roasties and some harrissa mayo to dip them in.