Friday, September 4, 2015

Kerala Style Sardine Curry

I have always liked Kerala Cuisine for its awesome flavours.  And lately curry leaves left a maddening effect on me. I just can’t get enough of them. They are so soooo aromatic. So I just find excuses to put curry leaves into my curries. But there is one big problem that my husband hates it. So I have to pick up recipes with care so that nothing can never go wrong. I really don’t know why he hates it. But he hates it. But if I look it that way, he actuallt hates the leaves and not the aromas. Now you are confused..I know. Well the fact is, my husband hates any whole spices that are visible in his plate. I know..I’s really irritating. He says those spices ruins the taste in his mouth. So one day, when I became truly madly crazily annoyed by his complains about whole spices making its way right into his mouth, I simply took his plate and fished out every whole spices from there!! Do any of you face this problem??

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sardine curry kerala style with step by step pictures

So...last week we bought sardines, and you know matter what you cook you can never go wrong with Sardines. First I wanted to make fries but then I remembered about this Nadan Mathi Curry, and decided to give it a try.

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Now there was one thing that posed a problem that I did not have Kokum rinds, and I have no idea what the hell that thing is!!! So I searched a bit and decided to add tamarind pulp in its place.

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I have not eaten Nadan Sardine Curry ever, so I really can’t say whether or not it tasted the same....but trust me with the tamarinds pulps...the curry tasted really really good. I mean really good. It was very much like the “tok” we Bengalis make, only a bit spicy, red and masaledar.

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how to cook kerala style sardine fish curry recipe

So in the end, hubby liked it, I liked it...even our cats like it too. Yes....they were looking and I gave them one sardine to eat. They ate it like they had won a prize. One took the head, one took the tails, and two took some flesh.

sardine curry with kokum rinds recipe

Kerala Style Sardine Curry
Serves 4

simple kerala style sardine curry recipe

4 whole sardine fishes
2 tomatoes – pureed
1 medium onion – finely chopped
3-4 green chillies – finely chopped
10-12 fresh curry leaves
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (dry roast them and grind to a fine powder)
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder (kashmiri red chilli powder preferably)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 lemon size of fish tamarind / kokum rinds, soaked in water
4-6 cloves of garlic – chopped
½ inch stick of ginger – paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oil (preferably coconut oil, but any unflavoured oil will do)

Note: I could not find kokum rinds so I used tamarind pulp to add the tanginess in the curry. Use 2 tsp fresh tamarind pulp .Take a handful of tamarind and soak them in hot water for 30 minutes. After that squeeze them with your hand. Strain the water from the squeezed tamarind and collect the pulp in a separate bowl or cup.

Heat oil in a kadai and put the mustard seeds into it.
As the seeds start to splutter, add in the chopped onions, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, chopped garlic and ginger paste.
Sauté till the garlic flavour is gone, and the edges of the onion slices tend to brown.
Then add the powdered spices, i.e. turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and fenugreek powder.
Immediately add in a dash of water and sauté for 1 minute or until the raw flavour of the spices is gone.
Now add in the tomato puree and cook till the puree is cooked and the oil starts to spate. You will know its done when the gravy will smell like tomato no more.
At this point, add in the tamarind pulp / water soaked kokum rinds and 4 cups of water.
Add salt and mix everything. Then put cover and let them cook for 5-7 minutes.
After that put off the cover and simmer the gravy on low flame for a few minutes more or until you see the oils floating on top.
Take the whole sardines and put them into the gravy right away and make sure they are covered with them.
Put cover now and simmer for 10 minutes more, or until the sardines get cooked.
Once the fishes are cooked add in some more fresh curry leaves. Simmer for 1 minute more.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Put off the flame and serve hot with some steamed hot rice.

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