North Kerala Style Sardine Fish cooked with pounded shallots, tomatoes and tamarind pulp
This is one gravy that is a family favorite and is devoured by all very happily especially with kappa (tapioca). Now I'm wondering why it took so long for me to post it here :) Maybe I was waiting for a manchatti (earthen vessel) to get a decent & authentic looking pic. Now that is another way of flaunting my new manchatti ;) We were planning to buy one for a long time but the frequent location changes and the difficulty of finding a good potter and a vessel delayed it. And finally it's here !
Ad back to the recipe, this is a hot and tangy fish curry that can be had with rice (esp. matta) and kappa puzhungiyathu (boiled and mashed tapioca) and even idly (I like that combo but not Deeps ;)) The chilly and tamarind ratio that I have used here is in accordance with the taste buds of the family. You can always adjust them to suit your preferences. This recipe does not call for coconut. Do try out and let me know how it turned out !
Recipe Source: Amma
Serves: 3-4 persons
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
|Fish (I used sardines)||-||½ kg|
|Small Onions/Shallots||-||25-30 nos (Mine were really small)|
|Tamarind||-||A goosberry sized|
|Ginger||-||An inch piece|
|Red Chilly powder||-||2 tbsp|
|Coriander powder||-||1 tbsp|
|Turmeric powder||-||1 tsp|
|Coconut Oil||-||2-3 tbsp|
|Fenugreek seeds||-||½ tsp|
|Curry leaves||-||A sprig|
1. Clean the fish and cut them into small pieces as required. Add little salt and turmeric powder and keep aside
2. Soak tamarind in 1.5 - 2 cups of warm water and leave aside for 15-20 minutes. After that extract the pulp out of it and keep aside
3. Peel the shallots, ginger and garlic. Chop the ginger roughly to small pieces. Grind the shallots, ginger and garlic coarsely in a mixer. Just a pulse or two is sufficient. Do not make a paste.
4. Chop the tomatoes to 6-8 pieces. Similar to the shallots, grind them also coarsely in a mixer
5. In a bowl, take the red chilly powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Add 2-3 tbsp water and make a paste and keep aside.
6. In an earthen vessel/kadai/pan, heat the coconut oil. Splutter mustard and fenugreek. Take care not to burn.
7. Now add the coarsely ground shallots and salt and saute for 3-4 minutes till they turn slightly brown
8. Now add the masala paste and saute. Let the raw smell of the masala go away. Saute occasionally so that it does not get burnt
9. Once done add the coarsely ground tomatoes and saute. Let it cook for around 2-3 minutes
10. Then add the curry leaves. And then the tamarind pulp. Check salt and add if required
11. Let it come to a boil. Now reduce the flame and add the fish pieces. Let it cook for about 10-12 minutes (as required for the fish) and the gravy reduces to a thick consistency as required. Lastly add a tbsp of coconut oil and remove from flame
Serve with rice, pappad and fish fry !