Don’t you just love those recipes that require minimal effort to achieve a very satisfying and tasty result? This south Indian sardine curry is one of those dishes.
Sardines are great fish to have in your diet as they are packed with essential nutrients, including omega 3 fats, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. They are also very reasonable to buy and therefore are within everyones budget. The bones too are so small that you can easily eat them along with the flesh, providing you with calcium.
I sometimes like to keep the sardines whole and at others times have them filleted. This recipe works equally well, whichever way you like to prepare them. If you are going to get them filleted your fishmonger can easily do this for you to save time.
You could also add tamarind paste (no more than a teaspoonful) to this dish to give it a different twist. If you do decide to do this add the tamarind at the same time that you add the tomatoes.
South Indian Sardine Curry
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
10 fresh curry leaves
1 banana shallot, finely sliced
1 tsp salt
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp of ginger paste
2 fresh chilli, sliced lengthways
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
200g fresh tomatoes, quartered
450g sardines, cleaned and filleted
1. Heat the coconut oil and then add the mustard seeds moving them around the pan for 15 seconds before adding the curry leaves. After a further 10 seconds add the shallots and salt.
2. Allow the shallots to soften slightly on a medium low heat for 4-5 minutes before adding the garlic, ginger and chilli, followed by the turmeric and coriander powder. Cook for a further couple of minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and stir into the other ingredients. Place a lid on the pan and cook for around 5 minutes to allow the tomatoes to soften.
4. Add some of the water and stir into the ingredients to create a sauce and then add the sardines and cook on a low heat for around 5-7 minutes with the lid on the pan. Do add more water if you require more of a sauce.
5. Careful not to over stir as the sardines will break up.