Small fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerels are all nutritionally much more potent than their larger counterparts. There are more trace minerals in them as well as fewer contaminants. Most of these come from capture fisheries and are not farmed, making them much more of an environmentally-friendly choice.
Here are a few reasons to love this curry
- Easy to make
- Full of nutrition – protein, omega 3, Vit D, Vit B12
- Very little cleanup
- Just a few everyday ingredients – perfect for the lockdown world
These are the main ingredients in this recipe. Tomatoes, onions, and potatoes give canned sardines a fresh taste.
As much as I enjoy fresh sardines, it is something I rarely cook. Cleaning small fish is a pain, to put it mildly. Canned sardines to the rescue here 😊. Typically I use canned sardines in brine or oil, as I can add the flavors as I like. Sardines in tomato sauce is also a good option here as the curry is building on the same flavors.
Canned sardines are usually deboned as well – making it a kid-friendly option, that is if your child is not the “yuck fish!” type.
Mackerel is a good substitute for sardines in this recipe.
Adding potatoes in the recipes makes it more substantial. It makes it easy to stretch a can of sardines into a larger meal. This is a quick meal for when you have little time. A typical Kerala fish curry will never have potatoes. But in many other parts of the world, it is a common practice to add veggies like potatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, or eggplant. All these vegetables are great at absorbing flavors and will work great in this recipe as well.
I do not add any spices to it save a pinch of turmeric and, some chili powder when I am in the mood for something very spicy. For me, any additional spice will detract from the fresh flavors. That said if you have a favorite fish curry powder go ahead and add a tsp of it.
Making the curry
Slice the onions and tomatoes. If using fish in tomato sauce you can avoid the tomatoes or use just a small one. Peel and slice the potatoes and have them ready.
Make a curry base by sautéing onions, garlic and the chilies (if using). Once the onions become soft add a little turmeric. You can make this curry without turmeric powder well. Any other spice powders that you want to add, this is the time to do so.
Add the chopped tomatoes and potatoes. Mix and add ½ C water. Cook covered for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften and the potatoes are cooked through.
Mash the mix a little to test if it is cooked through. Once cooked add the canned fish. Gently stir it in being careful not to break it up. Cover the pan with the lid and cook for a minute. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Wasn’t that easy?
- 8 oz Canned Sardines Notes
- 1 small Onion or ½ large
- 1 Potato Large
- 2 Tomato Medium – see Notes
- 2 -3 Cloves Garlic
- 1-2 Green Chili
- 1 Pinch Turmeric Optional
- ½ C Water
- 2-3 Tbsp Oil
- Salt to taste
Thinly slice the onions. Chop the tomatoes. Cut the potatoes into thin pieces. Crush the garlic. Drain the sardines (notes).
- In a saute pan heat the oil. When hot add the onions, garlic, and green chilies (if using). Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top and saute for a few minutes until the onions turn soft.
- Mix in the turmeric and add the chopped tomatoes and tomatoes. stir and add ½ C water. Cover cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through (cook time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes).
- Taste and adjust salt. Add the sardines, gently scoop the curry over the fish being careful not to break up the fish. Cover and cook for a minute.
- Turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with white rice.
- If using sardines in tomato sauce there is no need to add tomatoes. In this case, add the sardines with the tomato sauce once the potatoes are cooked through.
- The salt content of canned sardines vary depending on the type and brand used. taste and adjust as required
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