Jounen Kweyol, the International Day of the Creole language and culture is being celebrated today! The opportunity for us to wrap up this Creole series with this tasty spicy dish that is very popular in Reunion: rougail.
This creole theme took us between the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean over the past 10 days. Vera headed to the French Antilles and delighted us with her superb salt cod fritters, her feroce d’avocat and blancmange recipes.
As for me, after a stop in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, this is Reunion that attracted me, probably because it is one of the furthest countries from home! 2 stops and over 30 hours flying, no less! This is the minimum time it would take me to visit our friends in Reunion when departing from Los Angeles… so I say it is faster to cook up a little chayote au gratin or sausage rougail to feel like you’re in Saint-Denis!
This week is an important week for 196 flavors. We celebrated our third anniversary on Monday! It’s been 3 years that we have been traveling the world and all your encouragement give us the strength to continue, so thank you!
In 3 years, we have published close to 350 recipes from the 196 countries that cover our beautiful planet. But we were also Marty McFly, traveling back in time to tell you the stories behind each recipe. Thank you wherever you are, and feel free to leave us a message on our blog or on various social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest), we are always here if you have questions or recipe suggestions.
Depending on the region, some will tell you that rougail only includes tomatoes, onion and hot pepper, while others will include garlic, ginger, thyme and turmeric. Some recipes also add curry leaves or kaffir lime, a citrus fruit that we used for Indonesian recipes and Cambodian.
There are two types of rougail. Rougail marmite (pot rougail) and rougail pilon (pestle rougail). Rougail marmite is cooked and is actually a dish. Rougail pilon does not require cooking. These rougail pilon are often used as a condiment served with dishes like caris in Reunion.
The best known rougail pilon are rougail zavocat (avocado), rougail bringelle (eggplant), rougail mangue (mango), rougail zevis (type of mango) and rougail dakatine or rougail “pistachio”, where peanut butter (not pistachio!) complements tomatoes, a mixture actually quite close to African mafé.
Certain rules exist as to what rougail pilon should be served with which dish. The rougail with a sour flavor are typically served with fish. Rougail mangue is served with cari bichique (alevins). A tomato rougail should not be served with a saucy dish. Those dishes are typically served with pate piment (chili paste).
The most famous rougail marmite are rougail morue (salt cod), rougail crevette (shrimp), rougail poulet fumé (smoked chicken) or rougail saucisse (sausage rougail), which is the version I chose for today.
Sausage rougail is all about good sausage, preferably Creole. Unfortunately, it is not really easy to find them in Los Angeles. Never mind, good sausage, fresh or dry, smoked or not, all will do. And don’t take my word for it, Reunionnais themselves say it, as in this recipe!
The type of tomato most often used for rougail is tamarillo. Again, not easy to find this tomato locally so nice ripe tomatoes will do.
Sausage rougail is served with white rice or yellow rice (rice with turmeric and thyme).
I do not often get to cook spicy dishes. I took advantage of the absence of children for lunch to prepare this sausage rougail with hot peppers. My wife Anne and I loved this dish that I will probably try again with salt cod.
Un délice des îles à namer akonpagné de sa tantine en bordmèr avec une bonne dodo à la min! What? You don’t speak Creole yet?
- 2 lb fresh sausages (ideally Creole)
- 5 ripe tomatoes
- 2 onions , finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 4 red hot peppers , stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 scallion , chopped
- Vegetable oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Prick sausages in a few places and boil for 5 minutes.
- Cut the sausage in large sections.
- In a pot, brown the sausage in a little oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add the onions and garlic. Stir and cook a few minutes.
- Add hot pepper and chopped tomatoes. Add salt.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 20 minutes, until the sauce is reduced.
- Garnish with scallion and serve with white rice or yellow rice.