½ tsp turmeric
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
10 ml (2 tsp) red chilli powder
Sunflower oil to shallow fry
For the spicy tomato sauce
30 ml (2 tbsp) sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 sprigs of curry leaves
15 ml (1 tbsp) red chilli powder
6 tomatoes, peeled, chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) coarse salt
5 ml (1 tsp) roasted cumin powder (jeera powder)
10 ml (2 tsp) roasted coriander powder (dhania powder)
½ tsp turmeric
Handful of fresh coriander
1.Sprinkle turmeric, salt and red chilli powder over the sardines and gently rub the spices over. Place the sardines in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2.Heat the sunflower oil in a pot. Fry the finely-chopped onion until light golden brown. Add the crushed garlic and curry leaves. Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chilli powder.
3.Add the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and keep stirring until the tomatoes soften slightly.
4.Add the roasted ground cumin, coriander and the turmeric. Lower the heat and continue stirring until the tomatoes dissolve and form a thick sauce.
5.Heat the sunflower oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the sardines in batches until crispy. Remove from the heat and gently dab the sardines with paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat until all the sardines are fried.
6.Spoon some of the tomato sauce over the base of a casserole dish, add the sardines and then spoon the remaining sauce over the sardines and sprinkle the chopped coriander over. Garnish with a few curry leaves.