When it comes to Kerala food, it’s rich, delectable, spicy and flavourful. I have always been a great fan of Kerala food, specially their chicken and fish curries. This is one such cuisine that I can really relate to. Kerala’s love for fish is nothing less than that of Bengal’s. Also, the “God’s Own Country” has much more to offer than just its cuisine. So far I have visited Kerala twice and I am so looking forward to many more trips there. I am totally in love with the land, its people and its cuisine.
Sardine Masala Curry is one such dish that I had for the first time when I visited Wayanad three years back. It was an official outing and I still remember that how we fixed one restaurant for three night’s dinner. We had vegetarian and non-vegetarian people in the group in almost 50-50 ratio. While all the vegetarian used to have their meals inside the restaurant, we the non-veg group used to gather outside and have our fish and chicken. Among all the other delicious dishes, this particular is the one I remember the most.
No, I did not get chance to get the recipe there from the restaurant chef. But later I researched about it and asked a few of my friends about the same. I came to know that the recipe has many versions actually. Some cook this dish with lot of spices, while some other mix coconut milk with it; some call it ‘masala curry‘, while some other call it simply ‘curry’. So here I have taken my liberty to create my own version by using grated coconut to prepare the thick masala. My version really tasted awesome and I am so glad that I could create the flavour Kerala at my own kitchen.
I have cooked this dish in a clay pot. Clay pot always enhances flavour and texture of such traditional dish. But again, this is not at all mandatory. Spicy, aromatic, rich and flavourful, this dish is a real treat for every fish lover. Here’s how I cooked my Kerala Style Sardine Masala Curry.
- 500 gm sardine, gutted and cleaned
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1/2 + 1/2)
- 1/2 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder (optional, only if you can tolerate)
- 1/2 tea-spoon kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon black mustard seed
- 1/2 tea-spoon cumin seed
- 12 curry leaf
- 4 table-spoon coconut oil (for cooking) + some more oil (any oil) to fry fish
- 1.5 cup warm water
- salt, according to taste
To Prepare Masala:
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 1 big sized onion, roughly chopped
- 4 green chilli, roughly cut
- 10 garlic clove
- 1 ginger, 1 inch approx
- Rub sardines with 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and little salt and shallow fry in oil. Remove and keep aside.
- Take all ingredients mentioned in “To Prepare Masala” section in a grinder and grind to a fine paste. Your main masala is ready. Keep aside.
- For cooking, heat coconut oil in clay pot and temper with cumin seed and mustard seed. Allow them to crackle.
- Add curry leaves and stir for few seconds.
- Now, add tomato and stir until tomato becomes mushy.
- Add the masala and mix properly.
- Add remaining turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and salt to taste. Over low to medium flame, stir and cook until oil starts separating out from the masala.
- Now, add water and give a quick mix. Cover and cook over medium flame for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add sardines. Give a proper mix and cover the lid again. Over low to medium flame, cook for around 7 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and let the curry rest for another 5 minutes.
- Your Kerala Style Sardine Masala Curry is ready now.
Serve hot with piping hot steamed rice and enjoy the flavour of “God’s Own Country” with your dear ones.
Do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.