The roots of this dish lie in the flavours of southern Italy, where I had tasted octopus with guanciale (Italian cured pork jowl). Instead of pork jowl, we chose Goan Chorizo, and then brought in more Indian elements, such as pickled okra. The result was scrumptious.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



For Octopus

  • 2 octopus, around 500 gm each
  • 100 gm red onion
  • 100 gm carrot
  • 100 gm celery
  • 100 gm leek
  • 20 gm thyme
  • 200 ml dry white wine
  • 10-12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaf

For Goan Chorizo

  • 150 gm Goan chorizo
  • 25 gm onion, chopped
  • 10 gm garlic, chopped

For Black-Eyed Beans

  • 200 gm black-eyed beans, cooked
  • 50 gm onion, chopped
  • 50 gm garlic, chopped
  • 50 gm unsalted butter
  • 20 gm tarragon leaf
  • 10 gm parsley, chopped
  • 10 gm Pommery (grainy) mustard
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 20 ml honey
  • 10 ml white balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Pickled Okra

  • 100 gm okra
  • 50 gm sugar
  • 10 gm salt
  • 5 gm coriander seeds
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml water
  • 12-15 curry leaf
  • 8-10 whole black peppercorns


For Cooking Octopus

  1. Roughly cut the vegetables into big chunks and set aside.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and add the vegetables, spices, herbs and wine. Bring to a boil.
  3. Lower flame, let broth simmer and then add octopuses. Cook on very low flame for about an hour, till tender.
  4. Once cooked, remove octopuses from broth and discard the head.
  5. Marinate tentacles in olive oil with a little salt and pepper.

For Black-Eyed Beans

  1. Heat oil in a small pot, add chopped onion and garlic, and cook till translucent and tender.
  2. Toss in black-eyed beans and chicken stock. Cook till about 80% of stock evaporates.
  3. Add the other ingredients – except butter – and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Take off flame and monté with butter. 

For Pickled Okra

  1. Wash okra and pat dry with paper towel. Cut lengthwise into two and place in a sterilised, sealable glass jar.
  2. Add pickling ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to boil.
  3. Pour the hot pickling liquid and ingredients over okra and seal the jar. Let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.

For Goan Chorizo

  1. Remove outer casing from chorizo and discard.
  2. Heat a sauté pan and sauté chorizo, onion and garlic on very low flame till cooked and tender. Transfer to a bowl and hold along with its fat.

For Octopus Grilling

  1. Cook octopus tentacles either on a charcoal grill or in an oven at 180°C/350°F till tender and nicely charred. Do not overcook.

To Serve

  1. Divide the black-eyed beans among four plates, spoon over some cooked chorizo (with its oil), and finish with charred octopus. Garnish with pickled okra.
Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar, the chef-founder of Qualia in Mumbai, was Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for June. He started his culinary journey 35 years ago in the US, returning to India in 1989. Since then, he has been busy changing the way we eat. Known for setting industry trends with his creative, ingredient-driven cuisine, and warm attentive hospitality, Rahul’s award-winning restaurants secured his position as one of India’s first successful, chef-restaurateurs. In his career, he has won many accolades – he was featured in Asiaweek’s Survey of “Kitchen Gods” in 2001 and was 28 on San Pellegrino’s List of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013. More recently, he won Chef of The Year at the Times Food Awards 2016, Mumbai. He has been guest chef in several kitchens around the world, authored numerous articles, and frequently consults to the food and hospitality industry.

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