Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sardine fish curry

Sardine is one of my most favorite fishes. Sardine being one of the lowest in the food chain in sea world, it is lesser polluted than the bigger fishes. By the same time the health benefits outweigh the  bigger fishes. I haven't seen any fresh sardine in the region I am living. Though canned sardine is popular among Italians and dieticians, I wanted to devour Indian sardines in a curry. So bought a pack of frozen sardines from Indian grocery store and made a kulambu (curry) and fry on a weekend. Sardine is one of the lesser expensive fishes in Tamilnadu, but it costs almost $ 7.00 / 2 lb pack here.... closer to pomfret :) Interestingly enough, my hubby will eat bigger fishes like king fish and only a few selective varieties. I made him eat this by helping him picking out all those tiny bones from sardine in his plate,  as if we do for a child and he ate a few fishes too :) Just like my dad, he too feels weird to take some fish curry in his lunch box :)  But my dad's friends, my friends and hubby's friends , all like my fish curry and that's the trophy for this recipe:) Anyways , I eat this whole sardine fish along with those tiny bones and I love that head too, but exported frozen ones are neatly cleaned and packed ....which makes me still search for fresh sardines:)  I am narrating  a basic fish kulambu recipe, which is loved by people of Tamilnadu especially Tirunelveli:).

Other names: Indian sardine fish curry, saalai meen kuzhambu, chaala meen kulambu, mathi meen kulambu
Fish platter: White rice, sardine fry , beans poriyal, chaala meen kulambu, boiled egg.

Chaalai meen kuzhambu

Indian sardine (mathi / chaalai meen)

Sardine fish - 1 lb
sesame oil - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small keylime size
Red chilly powder -1.5 tsp
coriander powder- 3 tsp
turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
tomato - 1
green chillies - 2
curry leaves- 2 sprigs.

To grind:
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
shallot - 8
cumin seeds - 1 tsp

wash the fish and remove all the fins and scales by a knife.
Slit along its stomach, cut off the gills and mouth. Retain or discard the head portion.
I suggest retaining the head, if we are buying fresh sardines.
Run your finger all through the slit portion to remove intestines and any wastes.
Rinse well twice or thrice till water runs clear.
Apply little turmeric powder , salt over the fish and keep aside.

Extract juice from tamarind and add chilli powder, coriander powder, pinch of turmeric powder, salt and mix well.Keep aside.

Heat the sesame oil in vessel. (Fish curry prepared in earthen vessel tastes good).Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. After the mustard seeds crackle add the curry leaves .

Then add finely chopped tomato and saute till oil separates.
Add tamarind juice mixture and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Then add the finely ground coconut-onion paste.
Immediately after this starts boiling , reduce flame and wait till raw smell vaishes.
Add the fish.
cover the vessel partially to allow steam to go, reduce heat to minimum. Put the chopped green chillies and curry leaves.
Cook for 10 minutes in that low heat.
DO NOT stir the curry after adding the fish, otherwise you may end up with broken pieces. If needed gently shake the vessel, by holding the sides.
Switch off.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with rice, Idly or dosai .

*Always use a shallow-wide vessel to make meen kulambu.
*Earthern vessels are traditionally used in my native place for preparing fish curry. If using earthern vessels (mann pathiram) then we keep a separate vessel for non veg, this is a traditional habit there.
*I don't know why, but my mom used to insist on preparing some greens (spinach) or any green vegetables like beans along with this kind of fish curry. So I too follow that :)
*The fish kulambu tastes better the next day and I love to have it with idly or bread for breakfast ....anytime:)


Sangeetha Priya said...

delicious curry

divyagcp said...

Tempting and delicious fish curry.. yeah.. Fish curry always tastes more good the next day.. :)

Torviewtoronto said...

curry looks fabulous I know this tastes good :)

Priya Suresh said...

My H is also very selective when its comes to fish,thank god he likes sardine fish, totally agree with this curry taste yummy always the next day.My fav.

Shama Nagarajan said...

delicious and inviting recipe

Unknown said...

yummy and flavorful curry..
Anu's Healthy Kitchen - Herb Garden Chicken Pizza

Sanoli Ghosh said...

Tempting and inviting fish curry. Sardine itself a very tasty fish.

today's post:

Angelljoe said...

Hi, Viki....I love sardine fish curry too.Here we usually use the canned sardines and we use ready made fish curry powder like Baba's Fish Curry Powder , Lingam,s Fish Curry Powder etc. and I agree with you this curry tastes better the next day.

Sumi said...

meen kuzhambhu is always the best. even we dont get these small fishes here in the northeast. lovely recipe

Nilu A said...

I never had sardines.. This is a nice recipe for a change dear.. I will just check if we get it here too :-)

Jaiwin said...

looks delicious.Where can we get dried sardines?.is it available online?

Jaiwin said...

looks delicious.Where can we get dried sardines?.is it available online?

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