Wednesday, 14 December 2011



1)    Fresh Sardines – 500 gm.

2)    Small coconut – 1
3)    Dry hot red chilies – 5 Nos.
4)    Hot green chilies – 6 Nos.
5)    Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
6)    Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
7)    Black pepper corns – ½ teaspoons
8)    Kudampuli (dried fruit of a Garcinia tree which grows in Kerala) – 10 gm. OR tamarind – an olive sized bit

Dried Kudampuli
9)    Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
10)                      Coconut oil – 1 teaspoon
11)                      Salt – 1½ teaspoon

In this case, I have used young sardines. Fresh mature sardines can also be used to make this curry. Roe (egg sack) and milt (soft spleen of male fish) of sardines and mackerel can also be used in place of fish to make this curry. This particular sardine curry differs greatly in taste and flavor from the usual fish curries. Not everyone may take to this curry at the first tasting, because of the strange new flavor; yet thousands of Konkani people who eat this curry regularly do love it greatly. Try and see if you like this traditional Konkani curry.

To Cook:
Clean the fish removing the head, the fins, the scales and the guts saving the roe and the milt for including in the curry. Soak the fish for three to four minutes in a solution of one litre of water with 10 ml. of vinegar. This will help remove all the dirt and fishy smell from the guts. Wash well in clear water and drain. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt on the fish and mix well. If you are using Kudampuli, break it into pieces and put it in. slit four green chilies and put them in too. Mix with the fish and keep till the coconut paste is ready.
Grate the coconut. Set a small pan on low heat. Pour in a teaspoon of coconut oil. Tip in the fenugreek, the black pepper corns and the coriander seeds. Stir for 15 seconds. You can smell the aroma of the roasting spices. Break the red chilies and the 2 green chilies each into 2 pieces and put them in. stir for 30 seconds more and switch off the heat.
Put the contents of the pan together with the grated coconut into a food processor or a wet grinder (the wet grinder paste will be tastier). If you are using tamarind in place of Kudampuli, tip that in too. Pour in 100 ml. of water and grind to super fine paste.
Select a flat bottom pan or vessel to make the fish curry. Tip in the ground paste. Pour in 300 ml. of water. Add half a teaspoon of salt and the turmeric powder. Set on high heat. Stir occasionally. If the gravy is too thick for you, add a bit more water. As soon as it comes to a boil, tip in the marinated fish with the Kudampuli and the green chilies along with the marinate (the salty water at the bottom).
Stir gently. Taste and check the seasoning. Add more salt or black pepper powder if you want it spicier. As soon as it boils, turn down the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and let rest for an hour. Serve with rice.

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