I thought fiddlehead ferns up north were the only edible ferns we had access to in India, but I was wrong as usual. Every corner of the country is so full of surprises and since we were vacationing in Goa a few weeks ago, a trip to Mapusa market yielded these new and rather pretty ferns I’d never seen before. Are they poor man’s asparagus? Certainly not. They’re crisp and hold up their crunch very well upon cooking, like french beans. Melissa, a close friend whose sorpotel recipe graces our Christmas table every year identified these as Aankur/Akur, which she said would taste lush with Goan sausages. She was absolutely right and I decided to work these in an English-style hash with thinly sliced potatoes and eggs. It comes together in a cinch and it’s completely fuss-free. All you need is a hot frying pan and a few minutes of pre-prep to put this on the table with some pao or bread.
Edible Ferns Hash With Choris
This recipe also works great with green beans or asparagus if you don’t have any edible ferns on-hand. Fiddlehead ferns also work well here, as do the tender stems of Malabar spinach leaves.
Edible ferns (Akur/Ankur) 1 bunch, chopped into bite-sized bits
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp
Choris sausages 120g, torn out of their skins
Onion 1 large, thinly sliced
Garlic 2 cloves
Potato 1 large or 2 small, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Chopped coriander 1 tbsp, to garnish
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Place a hot frying pan or skillet that can easily fit in your oven over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and lightly saute till the onion is soft.
Add the potato and continue cooking over medium-high heat till almost cooked through. Add the chorizo sausages breaking them as you go, stirring everything.
Add the chopped edible ferns and cook for a few minutes more till the ferns are cooked but still retain a bit of crisp bite to it. Taste to check.
Crack in two eggs over the top and transfer to the oven and cook the eggs till the whites are set but the yolk is still runny. Season with the salt and pepper and finish with some chopped coriander.