The history of sausages has come a long way. Be it European Chorizo or Portuguese Linguiça, regional to Europe which is now consumed worldwide. Sausages have found a niche in world’s diet and its manufacturing process has become profoundly regional. Unlike other sorts of charcuterie, the meat in sausage must be chopped up or minced and stuffed into a casing, or smoked, or fried, or fermented, or boiled. Ukhrul has also got its pork sausage which is locally produced by Knam’s.
Aside from the quintessential blood sausage of Ukhrul, Knam’s pork sausages bring a distinctive kind with a twist of local spices which is regional to Ukhrul. Sausages stuffed with pork and king chili (Umrok) sounds intriguing, is it not? After experimenting for over a year to get the right taste, Knam’s developed pork sausage that is unique to its own. Knam’s pork sausages are made using two main ingredients Umarok (king chili) and Tangkhāthei (mountain pepper). These ingredients are organic and sourced locally.
Knam’s started experimenting with pork sausage production in 2017 supplied only to close friends and families. But after experimenting and perfecting the right taste, Knam’s started producing pork sausages commercially in 2019.
“I have always wanted to own a business of my own. I started a burger-pizza joint and also had a food truck. But due to time constraint and other work and also because of high rents and deposits I finally decided to run the business from home. The idea of producing sausages was born a long time back. I love cooking, travelling and experimenting new food. I have tasted quite an array of meat or sausages during my travels. Be it street food or fast food, I found that sausages were quick, easy to make, go-to food and people of all ages seems to love it. I thought I could make it for myself too. So I started experimenting and finally decided to produce pork sausage using local spices, umarok (king chili) and tangkhāthei (mountain pepper) as the main ingredients along with other added spices”, says ThotreichānKeinam, the Proprietor of Knam’s.
“I decided to do pork because we Tāngkhuls love pork. Moreover, sausages are easy to make”, added Keinam.
Knam’s chose Ukhrul to launch pork sausage business with the aspiration to grow and develop. Besides, Ukhrul is a hometown that is very close to Keinam’s heart. The need to start a business in Ukhrul was felt when Keinam returned to Ukhrul in 2017. “It’s a small market and a slow business in Ukhrul. But I realised that working from home/hometown gives me the advantage of not dealing with unnecessary hassles to pay rents to landowners and sourcing ingredients. Also, getting help from friends and families come easily. Supporting small local vendors, buying their products helps in limiting the import of costly products from outside even if it’s by a Rupee or two. Startups also help provide employment to more people in the foreseeable future”, Keinam chimes in.
Well, running a business in Ukhrul comes with ebb and flow. And Knam’s is not spared from the challanges. Initially, Knam’s had its own difficulties while executing business plans. Electricity became the most challenging one as sausages needed to be refrigerated all the time and Ukhrul’s unreliable electricity was a huge problem.
“Everything runs on electricity so it’s a race against time to get things done. The product needs to be kept completely frozen. With no power back up when there’s no electricity, it’s difficult to juggle between waiting for the power to come back and hiring backup generator to keep the meat fresh.”
“Another challenge is sourcing machines (I still use the most basic and most of the process are done by hand). I plan to buy more machines in the future. Other struggles include the inability to get the pork cuts that I need for making my product (butchers in Ukhrul do not let you choose the cuts you want. They mix everything. So I end up using only the cuts I need and separate most of the pork I buy like skins, bones, head, legs etc). Also, the main two ingredients used in making my product are seasonal so I am working on solving that.”
Despite the odds, Knam’s managed to make both ends meet. At present Knam’s pork sausages are marketed by six stores in Ukhrul district with delivery services to Imphal and Senapati on order basis. Knam’s have plans to ship to Dimapur, Nagaland very soon as the product is in demand.
“I don’t want to and I won’t claim that my sausage is the best but I make it by using the best of my effort and knowledge with the best quality ingredients available, offering a unique taste to my product that has distinct connection to my Tangkhul roots, my hometown Ukhrul”, Thotreichān Keinam humbly uttered.
At present Knam’s is focused only on pork sausage. Extra hot and smoked sausages are on the way. Knam’s ultimate goal is to increase the variety of sausages in the days to come. Pork and king chili combination is something nobody wants to miss out on. Knam’s glistening pork sausages gives you scrumptious delight. It’s time to get the grills out. Order away!
Residents of Ukhrul District can avail Knam’s pork sausage from the following shops:-
- RMV Departmental Store, Viewland Bazar.
- The List, Wino Bazar.
- Ngayam Store, Viewland Bazar.
- Keziah Departmental Store, Gandhi Chowk.
- Jane of all Trades oppositeKG school, Hamleikhong.
- Kharing Pastries, Viewland Bazar opposite Ukhrul Public School.
For enquiries about delivery outside of Ukhrul you may call or DM +91 9366951758