This crispy fish curry is enough for an indulgent meal

Sardine curry can be cooked without the fish getting crumbled. Photo: Manorama

Keralites love spicy fish curry for lunch to be enjoyed with piping hot rice. Fresh sardines cooked in Malabar tamarind gravy pairs well with boiled tapioca, chapathi or appam too.

The gravy is so flavoursome and aromatic that you could eat big bowls of rice with just this curry. However, many complain that the fish often crumbles while cooking.

If you cook following the below steps, the fish would be perfectly crispy without being crumbled. Check out the recipe.

½ kg sardines
4 tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 small piece ginger
2 tsp crushed garlic
2 green chilies
2 sprigs curry leaves
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp pepper powder
5 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 big piece Malabar tamarind
Salt as required

Clean the sardines and score them
Marinate the sardines some chili powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt as required
Heat oil and fry the marinated sardines
Heat coconut oil in earthen chatty
Splutter fenugreek seeds
Sauté ginger, garlic, curry leaves and halved green chilies; adding crushed ginger and garlic would make the gravy thicker
Into it add Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and Malabar tamarind
Pour ¼ cup water too
Cook well on low flame
Stir until the oil begins to separate
Pour three glasses of water when the gravy thickens
Add salt as required
Allow the gravy to boil well
Add the fried fish
Close the lid and cook
After 15 minutes, the gravy would be reduced a bit
Turn off the flame before sprinkling fresh coconut oil
Thick and tasty fried fish curry is ready
The fish curry tastes even better the next day when the flavours are prominent.

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