For the past couple of years, I have had to deliberately change the way I cook, in order to keep up with my increasingly rambunctious toddler. While I was previously accustomed to spending hours and hours in the kitchen, these days it is all about jetting in and out, as quickly as possible, before she wakes up from her nap!
This recipe is my riff on the popular Indian dish called keema matar (ground meat with peas). I usually make it with ground chicken and it is another one of those recipes that is a life saver when you are pressed for time! However this time, I had to use up some pork sausage and when I saw the beautiful, juicy figs in the store, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
I added as much color as I possibly could to try and entice my child to have a bite; she hates Indian food (dagger to my heart) and tried to create a nice balance from the hot sausage, sweet figs, all the warm spices and tangy lime. I am an absolute fig fiend, so I added a whole dozen to the dish - you could add a few less if you don't want a fig in every bite! Enjoy! :)
On medium heat, add 2 tsp of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed skillet. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and saute until the onions are pale and translucent. Add the carrots, red pepper, ginger and garlic and saute until the vegetables are completely cooked through.
Add the pork sausage and using the back of your spatula break up any big lumps in the meat. Cook until the sausage is uniformly browned. Add all the ground spices and saute until intensely fragrant. Add the green peas and corn and saute for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
Put the skillet back on medium heat and if there isn't enough oil left over from the sausage, add 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Evenly sprinkle a pinch of sugar on the cut side of the figs. Place the figs cut side down on the skillet and sprinkle with a little salt. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until you smell the sugar caramelizing. Gently flip them to the other side and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the lime juice and a tiny splash of water and gently scrape up any bits that might be sticking to the skillet.
Add the cooked sausage and vegetable mixture and GENTLY mix everything together. Check for seasoning - it should have a nice balance of hot, sweet, salty and sour. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with your favorite flat bread. Make sure you have a bit of fig in every bite! Enjoy!