Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mathi (Chala) curry /Braised Sardines














Sardine is a common fish in Kerala, easily available and inexpensive. It is a very fishy fish, and one either hates or loves it. Needless to say, I fall into the latter category. I love to fry it or make a curry with lots of chilies. Nothing like a spicy sardine curry to wake up a meal!

Traditionally, Kerala fish curry is cooked in a clay pot. It is like a clay saute pan without handles! When I first came to the US, I found that clay cooking vessels are not readily available here. On my next visit to India, I bought back clay pots with me. I still cook fish in these pots. Times have changed, now you can buy clay cooking pot in gourmet cookware shops, at least in California.


fresh sardines - 1 lb
onion small - 1
ginger - 1/2" piece
green chilies - 3 (less if you don't want it spicy)
oil - 2 tbsp
cayenne powder - 1tsp (less if you don't want it spicy)
turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
tomato - 1 chopped
curry leaves - 5
white vinegar - 1 tbsp
water - 1 cup
salt to taste

Scale and clean sardines. Wash gently in several changes of water.

Crush onion, ginger, green chilies coarsely, I use my small food processor. Heat oil in a clay cooking pot. Add the crushed onion mixture, curry leaves and saute till the mixture is fragrant and the raw smell has disappeared. Next add the cayenne and turmeric powders and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes into this mixture and saute till the tomato pieces are soft. Add salt and water and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for few minutes. Add the sardines and continue to simmer. When the sardines are cooked and gravy thick add vinegar, take off heat. Serve with fresh cooked rice.

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6 Comments:

At January 23, 2010 at 3:08 AM , Blogger sajana said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At January 23, 2010 at 3:11 AM , Blogger sajana said...

chala curry super,thanks lady.........

 
At January 25, 2010 at 3:36 AM , Blogger edgar said...

I prepared sardine curry according to your recipe. It was very tasty. The downside is the trouble of cleaning the fish and getting rid of the fishy smell from the sink, utensils and knives! However the pleasure of eating this tasty curry with rice compensate for all the trouble!

I cook only when my wife is away and rely on recipes from the internet. My wife is back soon and I have saved some curry for her. Let me see what she thinks

I have book marked this one for future.
Edgar
Melbourne, Australia.

 
At January 25, 2010 at 3:54 PM , Blogger Spice Coast Kitchen said...

Edgar, Glad you liked it! Yes, sardines do stink and it is indeed a pain to get rid of the smell.

Hope your wife liked it too!

It is wonderful to get positive feed back and thank you for letting me know.

 
At February 25, 2010 at 5:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a very smart person!

 
At March 26, 2012 at 4:00 AM , Anonymous Nate said...

Such a great article which sardine is a common fish in Kerala, easily available and inexpensive. It is a very fishy fish, and one either hates or loves it. Needless to say, I fall into the latter category.Thanks for sharing this article.

 

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