Image by dr.jd via Flickr
My friend & colleague Suresh Ramasubramanian sent this recipe, his take on a traditional Kerala fish curry. My wife Hope and I ate some very spicy fish curries while visiting India, but had no idea what fish they used; turns out that the "mathi" or "chaala" commonly eaten in Kerala and Tamil Nadu is our friend the sardine — always fresh, rather than tinned.
I look forward to trying this just as soon as I can find some fresh sardines up here in Denver.
This is a stew from kerala, india - you've been there JD .. (takes very little - mostly additional ingredients such as galangal - to make it a thai recipe).
Cut and clean the fish (deep and long cuts on either side, sharp
knife). Heat some oil In a pan, saute some cumin and mustard seeds,
then saute finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chili peppers
lightly - then add finely chopped onions and tomatoes, red pepper
powder, a pinch each of turmeric and coriander powder (you can get it
in indian groceries), sauté well. salt to taste .. and a splash or two
Once you get yourself what looks like a thickish gravy (the tomatoes will reduce) add the sardines and simmer them. Make sure that the gravy just covers the sardines .. you dont want it to be too liquid.
When the gravy starts to smell great tip some coconut milk (get it from thai groceries) into it, cook till done.
Serve this stew either spooned on top of rice, or with fresh bread.
If you're in a hurry, you can probably skip the spices and vinegar, get a thai curry paste of some sort in most thai grocery stores. And probably use canned tomato puree instead of fresh tomatoes.