HOT PLATES: Pork Patty Paos with The Diggers


An advocate of feel-good food, Chris Airplays of The Diggers shares with us his mouth-watering recipe for pork pao patties. Pao (also known as ‘pau’ or ‘pav’) the word for puffy bread rolls in Indian cuisine, provides the perfect doughy cushion between which sits a juicy, spiced, pork patty. Salivating yet?

Turning 10 years this month, The Diggers has been an outlet for a plethora of creative projects; clothing collections, record fairs, socials, poster art, podcasts, parties and more recently his latest culinary exploits. Chris was, therefore, an obvious candidate for The Carvery kitchen. His mix is a culmination of contrasting flavours; cold grandma curries straight from a school friend’s stovetop, bring and share NHS lunches, a stubborn stance not to mix at 16 enforced by a mixer with no cue.


Makes 8

The Patty

  • 960g sausage meat
  • 2 tbsp coconut or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp each of black pepper, coriander & fennel seeds
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 small thumbs of ginger paste
  • 4 cloves of garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped into roughly 4mm cubes
  • 3-4 tsp salt – adjust to taste
  • Kashmiri chilli powder to taste – roughly 2 tsp for mild, 4 tsp for medium and 6 tsp for hot.

The Rest

  • Apple jelly – I use Tiptree
  • For the pao you want any soft white roll and butter to toast – brioche works well
  • Cheese – we used smoked cheddar but any melty cheese will work


  1. If you’re making your garam masala start with that and set aside for later
  2. Dry fry your chunks of garlic on a low heat until they take on some colour
  3. Coarsely grind the black pepper, coriander and fennel seeds
  4. Make a paste from the remaining garlic and ginger
  5. Combine and mix all of the patty ingredients in a bowl and leave in the fridge for 30mins
  6. Slice your cheese and set aside
  7. Make a mini test patty and fry to check your seasoning – adjust to taste
  8. Form the rest of your sausage meat into eight equal sized balls and then squish them flat until they’re slightly bigger than your pao
  9. Toast your pao in a pan with plenty of butter and set aside
  10. Fry your patties on a medium/high heat for around 4 minutes on each side so that they pick up some colour but don’t lose too much fat
  11. When you flip the patties add your cheese to melt
  12. Add some apple jelly to the bottom half of your pao
  13. Place your patty in your pao and it’s time to eat


  • If you can’t find sausage meat just get some plain sausages and remove the meat from the casings. Remember not to add any salt if you do this.
  • Use paprika if you don’t want the heat of the chilli, or want to sub some of the chilli but retain the pepper flavour.
  • If you don’t eat pork you could use chicken and replace the apple jelly for red currant jelly