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Country Style Sardine Curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins

An easy and quick sardine curry that calls for a few basic ingredients. Tastes wonderful with piping hot boiled rice!

Course: Accompaniment
Cuisine: Mangalorean
Author: Shireen Sequeira @ www.ruchikrandhap.com
  • 500 grams 12 small sardines
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek methi seeds or 2 fat pinches of methi seed powder
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 3 flakes of dried kokum
  • 1 sprig curry leaves finely chopped
For the masala:
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 2-3 long dry red chillies  preferably byadge
  1. Clean the fish and wash it in a couple of changes of water. Keep on a colander for a few minutes to drain off excess water
  2. Fry the methi seeds in a few drops of coconut (or any other) oil and powder them a mortar & pestle. Skip this step if you are using methi powder
  3. Using 2-3 tablespoons of water, grind the coconut & the red chillies to a slightly coarse paste (the texture of the masala should be finer than that of coconut chutney but not as fine as regular coconut curry paste). Remove the paste into a bowl and rinse the mixer jar with 1 cup of water
  4. Add the chopped ingredients (onions, ginger, kokum & curry leaves) to the bowl of ground masala and mix well. Divide the masala into 3 parts
  5. Layer a heavy based pan/kadai or an earthen vessel with one part of the masala. Place 4 sardines over it. Place another layer of the masala and top it with a few more sardines. The final layer will have the last portion of the masala and the last few sardines.
  6. Pour the reserved masala water over it and add a little more depending on how much gravy you need. Don't add too much or it will be diluted. Add salt to taste and bring the curry to a boil. Cover and cook for approx 2 minutes. Remember not to overcook it as the fish is added before the curry begins to boil. Overcooking will disintegrate the flesh & you will have too many bones to deal with.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer, pour the coconut oil and sprinkle the powdered methi seeds over it. Cook for half a minute (or an extra minute if the sardines are big). Remove from heat and let the pan remain uncovered for half a minute.
  8. Serve piping hot with red boiled rice or white rice
Recipe Notes

If you are using bigger sardines, you may want to cook them for an extra minute or so. But don't go beyond that. Fish has delicate meat which will crumble and easily fall off the bone when overcooked